Masterclass Methodological and Ethical Dimensions of Fieldwork

Organised by Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS)

Wed 31 August 2022 14:00 to 17:00

Venue Leeuwenborch, building number 201
Hollandseweg 1
6706 KN Wageningen
+31 (0)317 48 36 39
Masterclass by Prof. Zachariah Mampilly (Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, US)

The Masterclass hosted by renowned Visiting Fellow Prof. Zachariah Mampilly focuses on the ethical and methodological challenges of fieldwork. Professor Mampilly has extensive experience in the field, in authoritarian contexts and conflict zones in locations as varied as Sri Lanka, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.


The Masterclass is designed for PhD students, Post-Docs and staff members as an opportunity to collectively reflect on both the pragmatic dimensions of fieldwork, as well as the ethical dilemmas that arise before, during and after periods in the field. It will also be an occasion to discuss the epistemological consequences of the choices made in the field and how that affects the research we produce and the potential ‘real world’ consequences they might entail.


Professor Mampilly will guide a structured discussion, reflecting on his own experiences in the field. The session will then open into an informal exchange where participants are encouraged to reflect on the issues they encountered in past or ongoing fieldwork, as well as anticipated difficulties in upcoming periods in the field.

A number of the participants already present in Wageningen for the The Margins of Insurgent Control: Spaces of Governance (September 1-2nd) workshop will also be in attendance and will serve as valuable sources of interchange and information.


An enhanced understanding of the potential challenges and solutions that all researchers are confronted with in the field. It is also the chance to ask focused questions to experienced scholars about fieldwork in specific places, for e.g. on conflict in Sudan or environmental related research in the Amazon.

Please address any questions to Francis O’Connor

Please register at the following link as places are limited due to ongoing COVID restrictions: Registration

Recommended readings

Mampilly, Zachariah C. (2020). “The Field is Everywhere.” In Szekely, Ora and Peter Krause (eds).Stories from the Field: A Guide to Navigating Fieldwork in Political Science.New York: Columbia University Press.

Podcast: The Ethics of Field Research with Erica Chenoweth and Zachariah Mampilly


Arjona, Ana M and Mampilly, Zachariah C. and Pearlman, Wendy, Research in Violent or Post-Conflict Political Settings (February 13, 2019). American Political Science Association Organized Section for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research, Qualitative Transparency Deliberations, Working Group Final Reports, Report IV.2 (2018).

Available at SSRN: or