Building peace through action research – our new resource

ICON proudly makes available on this website the book edited by Sylvia Kaye and Geoff Harris.

To access this, please go to Resources where you will be able to access the book directly.
The authors write in their Preface:
This book arose from an increasing concern – which we believe is shared by many peace researchers – that our research makes very little difference to policy and practice. The reasons for this can be many, including a lack of connection between the researchers and policymakers. The latter may not act on our research either because they are not aware of it or because their own agendas do not in fact prioritise peace.
Action researchers are impatient and do not want to wait for a gradual change over many years in the way policymakers think and act. Action research provides an opportunity for at least some peace to be built during the course of the research. Action researchers are committed to genuine participation of the people whose situations are being researched. Hopefully, they are willing to be catalysts and facilitators and let the people take the research in the way which seems best to them.
The case studies in this book illustrate the challenges involved in carrying out action research within the broad constraints imposed by the requirements of a postgraduate degree. The case studies represent a wide range of possible uses of action research in peacebuilding. We asked contributors for submissions to include the following:
• A clear statement of the problem which the research was intended to tackle
• A clear description of the action processes which were planned and the ways the data which was generated, including how it was collected/recorded and analysed
• The challenges faced in conducting the action and the responses made to them
• An evaluation of the action process
• The project’s outcomes.
In the last few weeks of putting this book together, we came across an excellent book edited by Christiane Kayser and Flaubert Djateng, titled Action research: a necessity in peace work and published by Bread for the World – Protestant Development Service, Berlin, 2015. Its main thrust, with which we totally agree, is encapsulated in the title of its first chapter – ‘Action research – an essential tool in the work for social change and sustainable peace’.
Sylvia Kaye and Geoff Harris