Journal Article


New Perspectives from PhD Field Research

Published on 11 March 2014

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.

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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


Linda Waldman

Director of Teaching and Learning

Jeremy Allouche

Professorial Fellow

Ricardo Santos

PhD Researcher

Shilpi Srivastava

Research Fellow

Publication details

published by
Allouche, J., Djolai, M., Kasper, E., Oronje, R., Santos, R., Srivastava, S. and Waldman, L.
IDS Bulletin, volume 45, issue 2-3
0265 5012


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