Chapter

Abetting atrocities? Reporting the perspectives of perpetrators in research on violence

Michael Broache

in Experiences in Researching Conflict and Violence

Published by Policy Press

Published in print January 2018 | ISBN: 9781447337683
Published online September 2018 | e-ISBN: 9781447337737 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781447337683.003.0015
Abetting atrocities? Reporting the perspectives of perpetrators in research on violence

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This chapter explores ethical dilemmas arising from research involving perpetrators of atrocities, specifically the possibility that such research may aid perpetrators and abet future atrocities. Drawing from the researcher’s experiences interviewing members of armed groups involved in atrocities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, this chapter identifies two possible mechanisms through which research involving perpetrators may abet future atrocities. The first mechanism, “direct assistance,” entails provision of money, material benefits, or information to perpetrators. The second mechanism, “dissemination,” involves providing a platform for an individual or organization’s ideology or broader “story,” intentionally or unintentionally. This chapter then concludes by reflecting upon how researchers might mitigate attendant ethical dilemmas by incorporating possibilities for abetting atrocities in analyses of the risks and benefits of research.

Keywords: Atrocities; genocide; Democratic Republic of Congo; International Criminal Court; interviews; ethics

Chapter.  5791 words. 

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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