Field Research in Conflict Zones: Analyzing Civilian Support for Maoist Rebels in India


Field research in conflict zones provides unique insights and firsthand data that are otherwise unavailable. This case study discusses a field research conducted in eastern India to explore why and how civilians support Maoist rebels in this region. Furthermore, it analyzes the use of interviews, archival research, and document analysis during the field research to compare civil support for Maoist during 1965-1970 and 2005-2011. It also offers an insight about the challenges of conducting research in conflict zones, such as, the Institutional Review Board process, gaining access to archives, selecting the interview subjects and sensitivity of the topics, and offers several ways in which these challenges can be solved to encourage field research in conflict zones.

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