This paper is a collaborative effort with Paul Hebinck and Sian Sullivan. It addresses epistemological and (cross-disciplinary) methodological issues, particularly positionality and self-reflexivity on one’s position as a researcher. Especially when one works as a professional, this is important, as our case material from Namibia shows. You can read the paper here, and last year I wrote a blog about trophy hunting (Trophy hunting and development in Namibia? The limitations of economic benefits and the role of science), in which I already addressed these issues briefly, in the section ‘the role of science’. The abstract of the paper:
This paper emphasizes the importance of researcher position andreflexivity for professionals in the ecological and development sciences. We draw on critical discourse analysis (CDA) to analyze a selec-tion of scientific papers written by Namibian Community-based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) professionals and their relationships with public discourse regarding this conservation and development program. These papers mainly show “success” whilst disregarding “failure” of elements in the program that elsewhere are highly criticized (especially trophy hunting and ecotourism). In addition, they seem to disregard questions concerning researchers’ conflicts of interest that bear on the papers’ “objectivity.” We argue that such positions beg more transparency and epistemological accountability. In particular, we propose greater disclosure and reflexivity regarding researcher positioning as an important methodological response for illuminating when and how researchers have an interest in specific outcomes of their research, so as to enhance interpretation of the knowledge produced by such research.