Published November 30, 2022 | Version v1
Journal article Open

Back to field: uncertainty and risk in field research

  • 1. Freie Universität Berlin
  • 2. University of Gothenburg
  • 3. Leiden University
  • 4. Johns Hopkins University
  • 5. University of Sussex


The rapid spread of COVID-19 beginning in early 2020 caused global disruption. As the risk of infection rose and public health authorities around the world enacted measures to contain the virus, everyday life ground to a halt. Activities that seemed routine in late 2019 became fraught with uncertainty. Fieldwork was no exception. Most field researchers had to change or cancel at least some of their plans; some left their field in a hurry before travel was shut down while others had to lock down on site; most academic institutions restricted travel, with some even prohibiting all forms of international movement. In brief, many traditional forms of fieldwork became all but impossible during the pandemic. 



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2153-6767 (ISSN)