Doing Research in Conflict Areas: Some Methodological Lessons From Palestine
Fieldwork in conflict-ridden settings presents many challenges for humanitarian actors and academic researchers alike. The Palestinian Territories is no exception, due to its spatial and administrative complexity, the anarchic geography, and the unpredictable events that develop. This article discusses, in a self-reflective manner, a set of decisions the researcher had to make during a Ph.D. fieldwork conducted in the West Bank in winter 2019/2020 to cope with the challenges. The research aimed to explore the political entanglement of humanitarian assistance in Palestine and employed the constant comparative method of the grounded theory. The key challenges include balancing between the practicalities of data collection and research ethics, and deciding on a research design that can obtain and validate why/how individuals choose to think, believe, act/react concerning politically sensitive issues.