Routledge Handbook of Research Methods in Military Studies
Edited by Joseph Soeters, Patricia M. Shields, Bas Rietjens
To Be Published March 31st 2014 by Routledge – 328 pages
This volume offers an overview of the methodologies of research in the field of military studies.
The military is not just like any organization or profession. It is an organization that is heavily influenced by politics, which dispatches its personnel to far-flung places all over the world, sending them into situations where their lives may be at stake, and is an organization whose operations are often conducted in an atmosphere of secrecy. Studying the military is valuable because it uses collective resources such as the tax payers’ money and hires employees that could have earned their salaries elsewhere in the economy, under less threatening circumstances. Additionally, the use of violence, the military’s core business, is probably one of the most unpredictable and impactful forces in social dynamics. For all these reasons, voters have every right to know what is going on in that organization and its actions. It is difficult because it is a world of its own, an island within society-at-large. Getting access to it, particularly if one is not an regular inhabitant of that island, usually is no easy game to play. On the other hand, if one is a regular inhabitant, it may not be easy to do reseach either, because the organization will not always be interested in seeing the findings published, or seeing them published only on its own conditions in terms of timing and presentation. Taken all together, one can observe a societal and political push to know and an organizational tendency, however slight, to hide. Given this possible tension, the methodology of studying the military knows a number of idiosyncrasies, relating to its difficult accessibility and its very specific work. Therefore, there is ample reason to devote a volume to the methodologies of studying the military and, its main goal, conflict resolution.
This handbook will be of much interest to students of military studies, civil-military relations, military sociology, political science and research methods in general.
1. Introduction: What Makes the Military Special?, Joseph Soeters, Patricia Shields and Sebastiaan Rietjens 2. Getting Access to the Field: Insider/Outsider Perspectives, Cathy Downes 3. Who’s in Charge? The Pragmatic Client or the Theory-driven Academic?, Nick Jans 4. Reflexity and Researching the Military, Paul Higate 5. Doing Research in Life-threatening Conditions in Africa, Funmi Olonisakin 6. Studying Host-nationals in Afghanistan, Antonio Giustozzi Part I: Qualitative Methods 7. Retrieving What’s already There: Archival Research on Contracting Data, Keith Snider 8. Studying the Old: Oral History among Japanese and American Veterans from World War II, Hitoshi Kawano 9. Being One of the Guys or the Fly on the Wall? Participant Observation on Bikes, Rene Moelker 10. Case-studies in Layers: Describing and Analyzing a Friendly-fire Incident, Scott Snooke 11. In-depth Interviewing: Getting behind the Facade of Words in Equal Opportunity Research, Brenda Moore 12. Data-analysis: Seeing the Patterns in the Fog of Civil-Military Cooperation, Sebastiaan Rietjens 13. Visual Social Research: The Study of Violence in Pictures, Randal Collins 14. Studying Auto-narratives from the Field, Ian Liebenberg/Esmeralda Einreesink 15. Scrutinizing the Internet in Search of "Homegrown" Terrorism, Risa Brooks Part II: Quantitative Studies 16. Content Analysis of Media Sources: Gaining or Quelling Public Support for Military Action, Jan van der Meulen 17. The Use of Survey Research in Creating Cohesion and Proper Leadership, James Griffith/Ad Vogelaar 18. Studying Networks’ Influence on the Adjustment of New Recruits in the Chinese Military, Jing Han/ Lijun Xia 19. Cross-national Research in the Military: Comparing Operational Styles in Peace Missions, Joseph Soeters/Chiara Ruffa 20. The Empirical Analysis of Conflicts, Using Databases, Paul Collier et al. 21. Computational Modeling to Study Conflicts and Terrorism, Michael Findley/Joseph Young 22. Assessing and Evaluating the Military’s Effectiveness, Leonard Wong/Robert Beeres Part IV: Conclusions 23. Ethics in the World of the Military, Celestino Perez 24. The Influence of Mass Media and Journalism in Military Research, Yagil Levy 25. Developing Theories from Research in the Military, James Burk 26. Doing Practical Research and Publishing in Military Studies, Patricia Shields
Joseph Soeters is professor of organization studies at the Netherlands Defence Academy and Tilburg University, The Netherlands. He has published extensively in international academic journals and authored and (co-)edited several books.
Patricia Shields is professor of political science at Texas State University, USA. She has been the editor-in-chief of Armed Forces & Society, the leading journal in military studies, since 2001. She has published extensively on the military. Sebastiaan Rietjens is assistant professor at the Netherlands Military Academy, and a reserve major in the Netherlands army. He has done extensive fieldwork in military operations and has published in journals and books.