Starting: Practical and Ethical Considerations

Alice B. M. Vadrot, Hannah Hughes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter guides the researcher through key elements of developing a research methodology for conducting research on and at global environmental negotiations and agreement-making sites. It addresses four important components: 1) Methodological: how to develop a research project; 2) Ethical: how to reflect on and comply with ethical standards; 3) Legal: how to protect, manage and store data and 4) Organizational: how to prepare research on-site. We address key cross-cutting issues relevant to all chapters of the book and the central question of how to decide whether you need to be on-site to answer your research question and advance the state of the art on global environmental agreement-making. The chapter includes three main takeaways: First, the ethical, legal, and organizational aspects of this kind of research are as important as the conceptual and methodological work that prepares scholars for data collection and participant observation on-site. Second, access, funding, and data protection need to be addressed early in the research process and should be reflected at different stages of the research process. Third, regardless of the research puzzle and methodology, conducting research on and at negotiations will always imply a high degree of reflexivity and preparedness
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConducting Research on Global Environmental Agreement-Making
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9781009179454, 9781009179447
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2023


  • methodology
  • on-site
  • data management
  • data protection
  • ethics
  • funding
  • access


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