Written for early-career scholars still in the planning stages of their research, this book explores some of the challenges researchers face when conducting fieldwork in the former Soviet region. It addresses key questions, including: What difficulties do scholars, especially females, encounter when researching in the region? How does an early-career scholars’ positionality – especially their nationality, ethnicity, and sexuality – contribute to their experiences of inclusion, exclusion, and access while conducting fieldwork? How do early-career scholars navigate issues of personal safety in the field? How do junior academics successfully conduct high-risk research? The book includes contributors from both the region and Western countries, paying particular attention to the ways researchers’ subjectivities shape how they are received in the region, which, in turn, influence how they write about and disseminate their research. The book also explores ways to continue research away from the field through the use of digital methods when physical access is not possible.

chapter |16 pages


The Challenges of Fieldwork in Post-Soviet Societies

part I|54 pages

Stories from the Post-Soviet Field

chapter 181|18 pages

Understanding and Managing One's Own Mistrust

The Value of Embodied Ethnography during Fieldwork in a Contested Postwar Polity 1

chapter 2|16 pages

Doing Fieldwork (Not Quite) at Home

Reflecting on an Expat's Positionality in Lithuania

chapter 3|18 pages

A Woman of Her Word Prepared for the Worst

Researching Drug Trafficking in Kazakhstan 1

part II|38 pages

Stories from the Hybrid Field

chapter 724|18 pages

“Hanging Out” with the Boys

The Female Participant Observer in a Male-Dominated Group

part III|36 pages

Stories from the Digital Field

chapter 1106|17 pages

Listening and Its Limits

Reflections on Fieldwork in/on Kyrgyzstan

chapter 7|17 pages

The Academic Lion Skin

Balancing Doctoral Research with Motherhood

chapter |4 pages


Gaining Access to the Field