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Grimm (2022) The Mixed Blessing of Digital Fieldwork: Digital Security and Ethical Dilemmas of Remote Research during and after the Pandemic, QMMR, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 33-38.

COVID-19 has markedly impacted the ways we collect research data through field research. As previously discussed in QMMR (MacLean et al. 2021) and elsewhere (e.g., GPPi 2021; ARC Bibliography 2021; SSRC 2020), the pandemic interrupted data collection and knowledge production routines. By restricting travel and free movement, thus impeding face-to-face exchanges, the pandemic and subsequent containment measures affected social scientists and their workflows, in particular those who previously relied on field-based methods. After all, interviews, ethnographic fieldwork, focus groups, and participant observation usually imply the physical co-presence of researchers and their participants, and often build on relations of trust that are established through repeated interpersonal contact. But quarantines, travel restrictions, lockdowns, social distancing, and even masks have made organizing personal encounters and maintaining and preserving dependable relations of trust with research participants harder—let alone establishing contact with and meeting new interlocutors.

Grimm et al. (2022) Back to Field: Uncertainty and Risk in Field Research, QMMR, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 21-25.

By: Grimm, Jannis; Lust, Ellen; Koehler, Kevin; Parkinson, Sarah; Schierenbeck, Isabell; Zayed, Dina

The rapid spread of COVID-19 beginning in early 2020 caused global disruption. As the risk of infection rose and public health authorities around the world enacted measures to contain the virus, everyday life ground to a halt. Activities that seemed routine in late 2019 became fraught with uncertainty. Fieldwork was no exception. Most field researchers had to change or cancel at least some of their plans; some left their field in a hurry before travel was shut down while others had to lock down on site; most academic institutions restricted travel, with some even prohibiting all forms of international movement. In brief, many traditional forms of fieldwork became all but impossible during the pandemic.

Grimm (2022) Contested Legitimacies: Repression and Revolt in Post-Revolutionary Egypt, AUP

Since the military overthrow of President Mursi in mid-2013, Egypt has witnessed an authoritarian rollback. Through a combination of repression and nationalist securitizing discourses, popular pressure for reform was successfully channelled into a state-centric model of governance. But despite state violence and the restriction of public spaces, protests have anything but ceased. Contested Legitimacies explores this resilience of protest despite unprecedented repression through an approach attuned to the physical and discursive interactions among key players in Egypt’s post-revolutionary arena. Starting with the successful Tamarod uprising against President Mursi, to the unsuccessful Islamist resistance against the military coup, to the Rabaa massacre and the shrinking spaces for protest under Al-Sisi’s authoritarian rule, to the resurgence of popular resistance in the shape the Tiran and Sanafir island campaign, it investigates the rise and fall of different coalitions of contenders and explores their impact on Egypt’s political transition.

Salehi (2022) Transitional justice in process Plans and politics in Tunisia, MUP

Transitional justice in process is the first book to comprehensively study the Tunisian transitional justice process. After the fall of the Ben Ali regime in 2011, Tunisia swiftly began dealing with its authoritarian past and initiated a comprehensive transitional justice process, with the Truth and Dignity Commission as its central institution. However, instead of bringing about peace and justice, transitional justice soon became an arena of contention. Through a process lens, the book explores why and how the transitional justice process evolved, and explains how it relates to the country's political transition. Based on extensive field research in Tunisia and the United States, and interviews with a broad range of Tunisian and international stakeholders and decision-makers, Transitional justice in process provides an in-depth analysis of a crucial period, beginning with the first initiatives aimed at dealing with the past and seeking justice and accountability. It discusses the development and design of the transitional justice mandate, and looks at the performance of transitional justice institutions in practice. It examines the role of international justice professionals in different stages of the process, as well as the alliances and frictions between different actor groups that cut across the often-assumed local-international divide. Transitional justice in process makes an essential contribution to literature on the domestic and international politics of transitional justice, and in particular to the understanding of the Tunisian transitional justice process.

Grimm et al. (2020) Safer Field Research in the Social Sciences A Guide to Human and Digital Security in Hostile Environments, SAGE

Exploring the challenges and risks of social science fieldwork, this book shares best practice for conducting research in hostile environments and pragmatic advice to help you make good decisions. Drawing on the authors’ experiences in regions of conflict and grounded in real-world examples, the book: Provides practical guidance on important considerations like choosing a research question in sensitive contexts; gives advice on data and digital security to help you minimize fieldwork risk in a contemporary research environment; offers tools and templates you can use to develop a tailored security framework.