Trust-Based, Qualitative Field Methods
A Manual for Researchers of Violent Extremism
The central purpose of this manual is to provide a practical guide to conducting high-quality, trust-based, qualitative field research on violent extremism. This approach is designed to help researchers of violent extremism address three major research gaps:
- Youth vulnerable to entering violent extremist organizations (VEOs);
- Local dynamics in areas where VEOs are influential; and
- Why youth in certain areas enter VEOs while those living nearby do not.
The methods emphasize the cultivation of trust, inquiry with marginalized youth, a focus on understanding gender and class issues, an appreciation of the impact of surveillance and power on local environments, and analysis of youth dynamics in contrasting locations. This manual is designed for use in areas affected by VEOs. It is relevant and can be adapted for research in development and conflict-affected contexts, and for research focusing on youth.