In conducting political science research today, one's methodology is of paramount concern. Yet, despite the obvious chasm between theory and practice that all scholars experience in the field, there are no specific guidebooks on meeting the methodological and ethical challenges that fieldwork presents. Political Science Research in the Middle East and North Africa helps fill this vacuum, focusing specifically on doing research in the one of the most
important regions in contemporary world politics. Janine A. Clark and Francesco Cavatorta have gathered together a large and diverse group of researchers who study the region and focus on methodological "lessons learned" from their first hand experiences of employing a variety of research methods while conducting
fieldwork. The contributors also look at the challenges of conducting field research in a variety of contexts, such as in areas of violence, and using research methods such as interviewing and ethnography. This volume will therefore be an invaluable companion book to more standard methods books and a useful tool, not just for Middle East scholars, but for all researchers conducting research in complex settings.
Janine A. Clark is an Associate Professor in Political Science at the University of Guelph. She has conducted extensive field research on Islamism, decentralization, and civil society activism in the Middle East and North Africa. She is the author of Local Politics in Jordan and Morocco (Columbia UP) and Islam, Charity and Activism (Indiana UP) and co-editor of Economic Liberalization, Democratization and Civil Society in the Developing World (Macmillan/St. Martin's). Francesco Cavatorta is an Associate Professor in Political Science at Laval University. He has conducted extensive field research on Islamism, party politics in the Arab world and civil society activism in the Middle East and North Africa. He is the author of The international dimension of the failed Algerian transition: Democracy betrayed? (Manchester University Press), co-author Politics and Governance in the Middle East (Palgrave), and co-editor of Salafism after the Arab Awakening: Contending with people's power (Hurst).
Acknowledgements List of contributors 1. Introduction. The methodological and ethical challenges of conducting research in the Middle East and North Africa Janine A. Clark and Francesco Cavatorta Part 1: Context 2. Encountering the mukhabarat state Jillian Schwedler and Janine A. Clark 3. What is so special about field research in Iran? Doing fieldwork in religiously charged authoritarian settings Paola Rivetti and Shirin Saeidi 4. Authoritarianism, gender and socio-politics: Saudi Arabia Gwenn Okruhlik 5. Researching in and on the Palestinian Occupied Territories Benoit Challand 6. Seeing Beyond the Spectacle: Research on and adjacent to Violence Sarah E. Parkinson 7. Doing research during times of revolution and counter-revolution Atef Said 8. Researching the countryside: farmers, farming and social transformation in a time of economic liberalisation Ray Bush Part 2: Methods 9. Interviewing: lessons learned Janine A. Clark 10. Interviewing Salafis: negotiating access and ethics Massimo Ramaioli 11. Interviewing Salafis and overcoming mistrust in Middle Eastern and European contexts Zoltan Pall and Mohamed Ali Adraoui 12. Interviewing and Gender Emanuela Dalmasso 13. Process tracing and the political economy of development in the Middle East David Waldner 14. Ethnography Is an Option. Learning to learn in Yemen Stacey Philbrick Yadav 15. Coding in qualitative research Mohammed Yaghi 16. Quantitative research in MENA Political Science Miquel Pellicer and Eva Wegner 17. Of Promise and Pitfalls: population-based experimental research in the Middle East Steven Brooke 18. Online media as research topic and research tool: fact, fiction and Facebook Elizabeth Monier 19. Researching Twitter Geoff Martin Part 3: Ethics 20. Blurred lines of inclusion and exclusion: research ethics for sympathisers Irene Weipert-Fenner 21. Playing with Positionality? Reflections on 'Outsider'/'Insider' Status in the Context of Fieldwork in Lebanon's Deeply Divided Polity Paul Kingston 22. Sleeping with the enemy? The ethics and politics of being a 'negative fieldworker' in Israel/Palestine Sigrid Vertommen 23. Intersectionality theory and working with 'both sides' Lihi Ben Shitrit 24. The (Ambiguous) fieldwork experiences of a German Moroccan in Jordan Malika Bouziane Index