Effecting Change through Peace Research in a Methodological 'No-Man's Land': A Case Study of West Papua
This article reflects upon the disciplinary and ethical challenges I have navigated as an ethnographer in the academic 'no-man's land' of West Papua-related research. I contend that the peace and conflict studies concept of conflict transformation articulates productively with a critical ethnographic methodology, assisting me in charting a research path. Using examples from my own research relating to West Papua's independence movement I argue that the ethnographer's role is powerful and carries attendant responsibilities to research participants and to the world of knowledge for increasing peace with justice. This article provides a case study example of how researching the ways the vulnerable interpret the world can be an act of justice, arguing that emergent critical interpretations are essential to preparing the world for long-lasting, positive change.