All qualitative research faces fundamental hurdles in overcoming issues of access and ensuring the credibility of one's observations. These issues are particularly acute when conducting research in hybrid regimes when the area of investigation is explicitly political and local authorities are sensitive to scrutiny. In the study of Russian politics, growing authoritarianism has meant a shrinking of the field and a corresponding adjustment in fieldwork practices. The disciplinary silence concerning the impact of regime type on fieldwork further threatens the quality and usefulness of comparative research on non-democratic regimes beyond Eurasia. The danger is that interesting and necessary questions about hybrid regimes are sacrificed as scholars opt to conduct fieldwork in more congenial locales where high status methods may be utilized. One can already see this effect as Russianists leave Russia rather than risk isolation within the discipline.
- Qualitative methods
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations