طراحی قالب وردپرس

Negotiating Unfreedom: An (Auto-) Ethnography of Life at the Forefront of Academic Knowledge Production


Abstract


This article analyses the negotiated and contingent nature of research access and limitations in a cooperative research project in Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia. It argues that even technically and legally ‘free’ academic research is often subject to a number of restrictions emanating from the politicization of research at the so-called frontiers of the global political economy of academic knowledge production. This frontier status and contested nature of knowledge and research is especially marked in Kyrgyzstan, where recent revolutions and social conflict have created a tense climate amidst authorities’ attempts to reassert their epistemic dominance. Against this background, the article analyses how the ‘politics of sovereignty’ employed in state actors’ attempts to curb intrusive research are equally present in the realization of cooperative research projects with different national and international (non-governmental) organizations/networks, whose members enact the research cooperation or hamper it in different ways, sometimes in ambiguous, sometimes in obvious manner. Further reflection is provided on the emotional and psychological factors which playing a role in the negotiation of access and the shaping of the overall research project. In conclusion, it is argued that the decisions, views and behaviour of people at the forefront of knowledge production in the global periphery cannot be subjected to moral binaries but need to be understood in terms of the role played by spontaneous reactions, inter-subjective sense-making processes and evaluations of people and projects over time.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i20398573v3n1p77

References


Adler E & Pouliot V 2011, International Practices’, International Theory 3(1): 1–36

Amsler S 2007, The Politics of Knowledge in Central Asia: Science between Marx and the Market. London: Routledge.

Area 2013, Special Section: Field Methods in Closed Context, 45 (4): 390–510.

Beishenbek kyzy E 2014, V Oshe priostanovlena deiatelnost Freedom House [Freedom House’s work is suspended in Osh], Radio Azattyk, October 7, http://rus.azattyk.org/a/26624129.html

Bennett W 2016, “Everything Can Be Tolerated – Except Injustice,” Saferworld Report, Osh: Saferworld. http://www.saferworld.org.uk/resources/view-resource/1050-ldquoeverything-can-be-tolerated-ndash-except-injusticerdquo

Bliesemann de Guevara B & Kostić R 2017, Knowledge Production in/about Conflict and Intervention: Finding ‘Facts’, Telling ‘Truth’. Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, 11 (1): 1-20.

Büger C 2014, Pathways to Practice: Praxiography and International Politics. European Political Science Review, 6(3), 383-406.

Calvey D 2008, The Art and Politics of Covert Research: Doing Situated Ethics' in the Field. Sociology, 42(5): 905-918.

Graef J 2015, Practicing Post-liberal Peacebuilding: Legal Empowerment and Emergent Hybridity in Liberia. Baskingstoke: Palgrave.

Gullette D & Heathershaw J 2015, The Affective Politics of Sovereignty: Reflecting on the 2010 Conflict in Kyrgyzstan. Nationalities papers 43 (1): 122-139.

Heathershaw J & Montgomery D 2014, The Myth of Post-Soviet Muslim Radicalization in the Central Asian Republics. London: Chatham House https://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/files/chathamhouse/field/field_document/20141111PostSovietRadicalizationHeathershawMontgomery.pdf

Heathershaw J & Megoran N 2011, Contesting Danger: A New Agenda for Policy and Scholarship on Central Asia. International Affairs 87 (3): 589-612.

Lewis D 2017, The Myopic Foucauldian Gaze: Discourse, Knowledge and the Authoritarian Peace. Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 11(1), 21-41.

Loyle CE & Simoni A 2017, Researching Under Fire: Political Science and Researcher Trauma. PS: Political Science & Politics 50(1): 141-145.

Loyle CE 2016, Overcoming Research Obstacles in Hybrid Regimes: Lessons from Rwanda. Social Science Quarterly 97 (4): 923-935.

Malekzadeh S 2016, Paranoia and Perspective, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Start Loving Research in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Social Science Quarterly 97 (4): 862-875.

Markowitz LP 2016, Scientific Closure and Research Strategies in Uzbekistan. Social Science Quarterly 97 (4): 894-908.

Megoran N 2013, Shared Space, Divided Space: Narrating Ethnic Histories of Osh. Environment and Planning A 45(4): 892-907.

Megoran N, Satybaldieva E Lewis D and Heathershaw J 2014, Peacebuilding and Reconciliation Projects in Southern Kyrgyzstan. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and Open Society Foundations Working Paper. http://www.sipri.org/research/security/afghanistan/central-asia-security/publications/sipri-osf-working-paper-megoran-et-al-june-2014

Mets S 2015, Umar Farooq i kirgizskoe ‘delo pravozashitnikov’: glavnoe - iziat dokumenty i deportirovat [Umar Farooq and the Kyrgyz “Case of Human rights activists’: The main goal is to Confiscate Documents and Deport]. Fergana.ru, March 30, http://www.fergananews.com/articles/8471

Paasi A 2015, Hot Spots, Dark-Side Dots, Tin Pots: The Uneven Internationalism of the Global Academic Market, In Meusburger P, Gregory D & Suarsana L (eds), Geographies of Knowledge and Power, London: Springer, 247-262.

Sabaratnam M 2011, IR in Dialogue… but Can We Change the Subjects? A Typology of Decolonising Strategies for the Study of World Politics. Millennium 39(3): 781-803.

Schatzki TR 2002, The Site of the Social. A Philosophical Account of the Constitution of Social Life and Change. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press.

Sheely R 2016, Regimes and Randomization: Authoritarianism and Field Research in Contemporary Kenya. Social Science Quarterly 97(4): 936-952.

Social Science Quarterly (SSQ) 2016, Special Issue: Observing Autocracies from the Ground Floor. 97 (4): 823–990.

Sriram CL, King JC, Mertus JA, Martin-Ortega O & Herman J (eds.) 2009, Surviving Field Research: Working in Violent and Difficult Situations. London: Routledge.

Szostek J 2017, Popular Geopolitics in Russia and Post-Soviet Eastern Europe. Europe-Asia Studies 69(2): 195-201.

Tietze S & Dick P 2009, Hegemonic Practices and Knowledge Production in the Management Academy: An English Language Perspective. Scandinavian Journal of Management 25(1): 119-123.

Wall C & Mollinga PP (eds.) 2008, Fieldwork in Difficult Environments: Methodology as Boundary Work in Development Research. Münster: LIT Verlag.

Wilkinson C 2007, You Say Security, We Say Safety: Speaking and Talking ‘Security’ in Kyrgyzstan. CPS Working Paper No 10: 183-194.

Wilkinson, C 2015 Imagining Kyrgyzstan’s Nationhood and Statehood: Reactions to the 2010 Osh Violence. Nationalities Papers 43(3): 417-436.


Full Text: pdf

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.