Conflict, Security and Peace

Addressing UN Sustainable Development Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, the books and journal articles we publish in this area focus on the impact of vast power differentials and the issues that need to be addressed as a threat to human rights and international security, including conflict-based migration and political instability. 

Our aim is to publish innovative research that supports finding ways to protect groups that can be an easy target for violence and discrimination.

Bristol University Press and Policy Press are signed up to the UN SDG Publishers Compact. In Conflict, security and peace, we aim to address the following goal:  

Conflict, Security and Peace

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The Securityscapes of Threatened People in Kyrgyzstan

Moving beyond state-centric and elitist perspectives, this volume examines everyday security in the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan. Based on ethnographic fieldwork and written by scholars from Central Asia and beyond, it shows how insecurity is experienced, what people consider existential threats, and how they go about securing themselves.

It concentrates on individuals who feel threatened because of their ethnic belonging, gender or sexual orientation. It develops the concept of ‘securityscapes’, which draws attention to the more subtle means that people take to secure themselves – practices bent on invisibility and avoidance, on disguise and trickery, and on continually adapting to shifting circumstances. By broadening the concept of security practice, this book is an important contribution to debates in Critical Security Studies as well as to Central Asian and Area Studies.

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A Guide to Research in Violent and Closed Contexts

Using detailed insights from those with first-hand experience of conducting research in areas of international intervention and conflict, this handbook provides essential practical guidance for researchers and students embarking on fieldwork in violent, repressive and closed contexts.

Contributors detail their own experiences from areas including the Congo, Sudan, Yemen, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Myanmar, inviting readers into their reflections on mistakes and hard-learned lessons. Divided into sections on issues of control and confusion, security and risk, distance and closeness and sex and sensitivity, they look at how to negotiate complex grey areas and raise important questions that intervention researchers need to consider before, during and after their time on the ground.

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Fieldwork Interrupted

This international, edited collection brings together personal accounts from researchers working in and on conflict and explores the roles of emotion, violence, uncertainty, identity and positionality within the process of doing research, as well as the complexity of methodological choices.

It highlights the researchers’ own subjectivity and presents a nuanced view of conflict research that goes beyond the ‘messiness’ inherent in the process of research in and on violence. It addresses the uncomfortable spaces of conflict research, the potential for violence of research itself and the need for deeper reflection on these issues.

This powerful book opens up spaces for new conversations about the realities of conflict research. These critical self-reflections and honest accounts provide important insights for any scholar or practitioner working in similar environments.

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Uncomfortable Positions in Local Government
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How are multiculturalism, inequality and belonging understood in the day-to-day thinking and practices of local government? Examining original empirical data, this book explores how local government officers and politicians negotiate ‘difficult subjects’ linked with community cohesion policy: diversity, inequality, discrimination, extremism, migration, religion, class, power and change. The book argues that such work necessitates ‘uncomfortable positions’ when managing ethical, professional and political commitments.

Based on first-hand experience of working in urban local government and extensive ethnographic, interview and documentary research, the book applies governmentality perspectives in a new way to consider how people working within government are subject to regimes of governmentality themselves, and demonstrates how power operates through emotions.

Its exploration of how ‘sociological imaginations’ are applied beyond academia will be valuable to those arguing for the future of public services and building connections between the university and wider society, including scholars and students in sociology, social policy, social geography, urban studies and politics, and policy practitioners in local and central government.

Winner of the BSA Philip Abrams Memorial Prize 2014

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