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Research ethics and fieldwork in an authoritarian context

3 credits

The course is open for PhD students working on contemporary East and South-East Asia. Preference is given to students enrolled in a Swedish University. The students are expected to already have a basic understanding of research ethics and relevant laws in the Swedish and European context. The course focuses on the special ethical issues that can emerge when doing research in or on authoritarian societies, or in other authoritarian contexts. The course addresses ethical issues related to different methods, topics and countries. It focusses both on digital methods and fieldwork. It deals with issues related to surveillance and security of both researchers, informants and collaborators. This includes how one evaluates risk in a politically changing environment and how one navigates so-called red lines. The course also discusses how one deals with the stress and pressure that one can experience when studying difficult topics and in an authoritarian context. Furthermore, the course discusses how one balances risk and academic transparency when it comes to the sharing of data and disseminating results.