This paper contributes to ongoing debates about interactions between the political science discipline and policymaking communities by analysing the role played by scholars who work as consultants for governments, non-governmental organizations, and international aid agencies in conflict-affected and post-conflict societies. It argues that although consultancies permit scholars to engage with policy communities and provide convenient access for data collection, they also present methodological constraints and can complicate and compromise research ethics due to the inherent tensions linking the two different realms with their differing norms, agendas, and goals. The findings are based on the author’s decades of field experience in Myanmar, a country which has recently received much attention from the international community, on interviews with nine PhD candidates or PhD holders who have been employed as consultants for aid agencies in Myanmar and Southeast Asia, and analysis of secondary sources on countries with similar situations.
Consultancy, Qualitative Research Method, Myanmar/Burma, Research Ethics, Policy-making, Transitional Democracies
Thawnghmung AM. (2017). Do consultancies compromise academic research and ethics? A case study of Burma/Myanmar. Asian Journal of Political Science 25(2): 176-193.
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