Researching Peace Peacefully: Using Ethnographic Approaches in Timor-Leste

  • Sophia Close
Part of the Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies book series (RCS)


I conducted research in Timor-Leste on the effectiveness of international peacebuilding and development interventions that took place between 1999 and 2013. I wanted to use research approaches that avoided perpetuating structural or cultural violence and explicitly strengthened local capacities for peace. I used an ethnographic research approach that connects peacebuilding and Indigenous rights. In this chapter, I identify four elements that are key to this ethnographic research approach: reflexivity, sampling and interviewing processes grounded in Indigenous participation, use of systems theory and abductive analysis to analyse qualitative data and finally, the importance of seeking free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) from all participants. With these elements, an ethnographic approach can provide the researcher with tools to research peace more peacefully in and with Indigenous communities.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sophia Close
    • 1
  1. 1.National Centre for Indigenous StudiesAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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