This IDS Bulletin offers a platform for IDS PhD researchers to reflect on their fieldwork experiences, including research-related challenges, as well as cultural and personal encounters along the way.
The authors also develop theoretically-informed arguments about their research findings and the editors offer further reflections on the importance of fieldwork as part of the transformative experience of ‘doing a PhD’ in Development Studies.
The collection of articles in this IDS Bulletin represent a vision for the future of Development Studies research in which the human, relational and public work elements of research are emphasised throughout the contested process of working for change. The authors are not just researchers but agents of development, taking part in the contested process of working for change by doing research with people rather than on people.
This IDS Bulletin, produced and edited by PhD researchers and IDS Fellows with all the contributions written by IDS PhD candidates who have recently been awarded doctorates, is part of a wider IDS initiative to invest in the professional development of PhD researchers. It comprises seven articles covering locations from Ecuador to Bolivia, Mexico, Kenya, Swaziland, Germany, Nepal, China and India. The topics cover issues such as power of wellbeing discourses to water management, migrant children and education, and peace-building. The authors show, through their own experiences, the importance of connecting to the world outside the university – to the places where development is actually happening. Their new perspectives offer insights into a variety of research topics, innovations for fieldwork practices, and important reflections on the human experience of PhD research.
Table of contents
Foreword Lawrence Haddad
Introduction: New Perspectives from PhD Field Research Marika Djolai, Eric Kasper, Ricardo Santos, Shilpi Srivastava and Linda Waldman
Weighing Up the Risks: The Challenge of Studying ‘Risk’ in Empirical Research Stephen Whitfield
Performing Peace-building – Conferences, Rituals and the Role of Ethnographic Research Tobias Denskus
The Power of Wellbeing Discourses among Indigenous and Non-Indigenous People in Mexico Juan Jaime Loera-Gonzalez
Why Participation Matters: Communal Drinking Water Management in Bolivia and Ecuador Maria Teresa Armijos and Anna Maria Walnycki
The Necessity of Engaging with Politics: Lessons from the Grass Roots in South India Sunita Abraham
State-Dominated Civil Society and Migrant Children’s Education in Beijing Myra Pong
The Disjuncture between Gendered Legislation and the Practice of Urban Planning: A Case Study of the Swaziland Urban Development Project Hloniphile Y. Simelane