In recent years, expectations have changed within academia and among policy analysts regarding the appropriateness and feasibility of conducting research in dangerous situations. While in the past, researchers were implicitly or explicitly forbidden from entering zones of ‘hot conﬂict’, today most researchers expect to be free to go nearly anywhere and investigate nearly anything. Entering insecure areas, however, is particularly risky today, given the post-Cold War shift to intra-state conﬂicts, and the rise in terrorist activity and other non-state or trans-state violence. While humanitarian practitioners have increasingly adopted safety-conscious measures in their ﬁeldwork, academic researchers lag far behind. Academic researchers could learn from humanitarian actors how to assess security risks and take appropriate measures. The goal of this chapter is to enhance the ability of academic researchers to conduct their own risk assessment and to explore other practical measures to enhance their personal security. Having read this chapter, researchers should be able to make more informed decisions as to whether to initiate research in a dangerous area and when to call it quits and return home. This chapter is divided into three main parts. First, it begins with a state-
ment of the causes of insecurity and the ethical imperative of ‘personal security’ (also referred to as ‘care of self ’). Second, it surveys the explosion of interest in safety amongst practitioners, and in particular the proliferation of training literature. Finally, drawing from this literature, the chapter explains the importance of conducting risk and vulnerability analyses, and concludes with suggestions for other practical safety measures for academic researchers working in dangerous situations.