Navigating difficult terrain
DOI link for Navigating difficult terrain
Navigating difficult terrain book
The Chatham House Rule is one of the many kinds of the agreements commonplace in security-related settings that condition what can and cannot be repeated. Implicitly the Rule also speaks to the way practices of secrecy are enacted in localized, face-to-face interactions. This chapter offers a characterization of some of common orientations to secrecy prevalent in social research. It proposes some of the commonplace commitments associated with how researchers position themselves and their topics of study in order to set up the next section. The Chatham House Rule takes its place alongside other kinds of considerations bearing on determinations of what should and should not be disclosed by security researchers: legally enforced national security acts, personal bonds formed with close informants, signed nondisclosure agreements, conventions of tact, and anticipations of media reception. Drawing on archival records, collecting informants’ accounts, undertaking observations of sequestered places, requesting government documents and the like serve as key modus operandi in security research.