Bermuda triangulation: embracing the messiness of researching in conflict

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

In conflict-affected states, poor transportation infrastructure and risk-averse security protocols can significantly constrain researchers’ ability to access information. Pressure on academics to be methodologically rigorous and produce policy-relevant research means that the problematic nature of the data we use is often obscured and ignored in research outputs. Through an
autoethnography of research in the DRC, this article critically discusses the messiness of triangulating information in the field amidst the competing knowledge claims of different actors on the ground. Nonetheless, it argues that information which is messy and difficult to triangulate can itself be a valuable source of conflict knowledge. This knowledge emerges from what is here termed ‘Bermuda Triangulation’—whereby the verification of one piece of information leads to the uncovering of multiple views, which may themselves tell us much about the drivers of conflict.

Details

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Intervention and Statebuilding
Early online date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Autoethnography , Democratic Republic of the Congo , knowledge, research methodology