Objectivity, impartiality and neutrality in researching the far right

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding


Academic research often prides itself on its objectivity and impartiality. This has led in some cases to demands for more scientific approaches to social sciences, as if the researcher could remove themselves from their topic of study. Such arguments can play a particularly important role in far-right studies and it is increasingly common to hear suggestions that a scholarly approach to research on the far right should take a more neutral stance, away from biases such as anti-racism.
This paper argues that there is and can be no neutral position in our field, and that claims to the contrary are themselves subjective and serve an ideological purpose, whether consciously or not. As such, only a clear acknowledgement of one’s positionality can lead to sound scholarly work. This requires a recalibration of one’s understanding of objectivity and impartiality away from neutrality, and instead towards one acknowledging where one stands, why and how this is mitigated.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Ethics of Researching the Far Right
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020
EventThe Ethics of Researching the Far Right - Online
Duration: 11 Aug 202015 Sept 2020


WorkshopThe Ethics of Researching the Far Right


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