The composite approach: research design in the context of war and armed conflict

S Barakat, M Chard, T Jacoby, W Lume

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Researching in contexts affected by armed conflict presents many challenges beyond those normally encountered by social scientists. Focusing on these special difficulties has, in the past, often obstructed the task of understanding the methods that are applicable to situations of armed conflict. This paper aims to suggest a means of rectification. First, it introduces some of the particular issues that relate to field research under conditions of armed conflict and, second, it suggests a possible strategic approach to mitigating these. Overall, it is argued that a creative combination of different methods and techniques, broadly termed 'the composite approach', represents the most effective way of dealing with the challenges that working in a conflict-affected situation presents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)991-1003
Number of pages13
JournalThird World Quarterly
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2002

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