I am an Associate Professor of Political Science at Boston College and a Research Affiliate with the MIT Security Studies Program. My co-edited book Stories From the Field: A Guide to Navigating Fieldwork in Political Science was just published with Columbia University Press. My research and teaching focus on Middle East politics, terrorism and political violence, nationalism, rebels and revolution, and international relations. I give talks to universities, think tanks, and business and community groups, and I conduct media interviews. I have a Ph.D. in political science from MIT and a B.A. in political science and history from Williams College.
I was a panelist for "Field Research in the Middle East before and after the Pandemic" with the Crown Center for Middle East Studies. I discussed why we do fieldwork, the obstacles to conducting fieldwork in the Middle East before COVID-19, and the new and heightened challenges that the pandemic poses to field research. Watch the panel in the video above.
My new article with Ora Szekely and 11 other co-authors focuses on the challenges of conducting fieldwork during and after COVID-19. Many of the authors also contributed to our recently published book Stories from the Field: A Guide to Navigating Fieldwork in Political Science. The authors draw on their own experiences in the field to identify the unique ethical and logistical challenges posed by COVID-19 and to offer suggestions for how to adjust and continue research in the face of the pandemic’s disruptions. Key themes include the new importance of contingency planning as a central part of our research designs; how cyberspace has increasingly become “the field” for the time being; and how scholars can build lasting, mutually beneficial partnerships with “field citizens” now and in the future.
In a new article in the Cambridge Middle East and North Africa Forum's Manara Magazine, I analyze the central dilemma faced by rebel leaders: how do they balance their desire for victory in their struggle with their desire to increase their own power in their movement and potential future state? Using examples from my research on the Algerian, Eritrean, Palestinian, and Zionist national movements, I discuss the ongoing tension between personal and collective objectives. Unfortunately for liberal-minded leaders, actions that can best achieve victory are often the very ones that make the emergence of democracy thereafter less likely.
© 2021 by PETER KRAUSE