2015 SCID Symposium – Professor Alice Hills – Personal Reflections on Police Research in a Conflict-Affected Environment

PowerPoint presentation: Alice Hills SCID Symposium presentation 2015

In this presentation, Alice Hills talks about the challenges of doing academic research in conflict-affected environments, focussing upon her research in Kano, northern Nigeria. These challenges are particularly pronounced without the support of an organisation that provides security, transport, interpreters and so on – as might be expected if doing research for an International Organisation or NGO, for instance. These challenges include deciding where to live while in a conflict-affected environment; how to get around; where to find an interpreter; how to stay safe and healthy; where to keep petty cash; and what to do in the event of a security incident or unforeseen development. Such practical challenges also often constitute the most instrumental challenges to a research project, often more so than the academic challenges – such as deciding what the research question is and which analytical tools and theoretical framework will be  used  –  which can be more straight forward.

Professor Alice Hills is Professor of Conflict Studies at the University of Durham where her research focuses on why police evolve as they do, and what explains their interaction with governments, militaries and societies in sub-Saharan Africa. Before joining Durham she was professor of conflict and security at the University of Leeds where her research and teaching focused on security governance in fragile states, counter-insurgency in cities, and the relationship between security and development.

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