Researching post-conflict societies presents researchers with a unique set of ethical problems that institutional ethics procedures struggle to include in their frameworks. Scholars, especially inexperienced scholars, are often sent into the field without appropriate measures in place to prevent harm from occurring to their research participants, to the societies they are researching, and to the researchers themselves. The dichotomous nature of ethics procedures, which construct ethical considerations as a static pass/fail test, do not appropriately take into account the multiplicity of harms we can cause, the harms we can suffer, and the harms that are left behind in the field.
The interest on forced migration has visibly grown with the so-called “long summer of migration” in 2015, which represented an unprecedented phenomenon for the Yugoslav successor states, located along one of the main refugee paths – the Western Balkan route. While the growing influx of people fleeing the Middle East region brought about a rise in solidarity initiatives among the civil society, in academia refugee-related research rose sharply.