New Perspectives from PhD Field Research

Edited by: Marika Djolai, Eric Kasper, Ricardo Santos and Shilpi Srivastava

March 2014
Volume 45 Number 2-3

This IDS Bulletin offers a platform for IDS PhD researchers to reflect on their fieldwork experiences, including research-related challenges, as well as cultural and personal encounters along the way.

The authors also develop theoretically-informed arguments about their research findings and the editors offer further reflections on the importance of fieldwork as part of the transformative experience of ‘doing a PhD’ in Development Studies.

The collection of articles in this IDS Bulletin represent a vision for the future of Development Studies research in which the human, relational and public work elements of research are emphasised throughout the contested process of working for change. The authors are not just researchers but agents of development, taking part in the contested process of working for change by doing research with people rather than on people.

This IDS Bulletin, produced and edited by PhD researchers and IDS Fellows with all the contributions written by IDS PhD candidates who have recently been awarded doctorates, is part of a wider IDS initiative to invest in the professional development of PhD researchers. It comprises seven articles covering locations from Ecuador to Bolivia, Mexico, Kenya, Swaziland, Germany, Nepal, China and India. The topics cover issues such as power of wellbeing discourses to water management, migrant children and education, and peace-building. The authors show, through their own experiences, the importance of connecting to the world outside the university – to the places where development is actually happening. Their new perspectives offer insights into a variety of research topics, innovations for fieldwork practices, and important reflections on the human experience of PhD research.