Objectives: Using the example of Uzbekistan, this article examines the challenges and opportunities for conducting field research in a context of tightened scientific closure in those countries with highly autocratic regimes. Methods: Drawing on the author's own field experience conducting elite interviews in Uzbekistan in 2002 and 2003 (as well as many subsequent visits), it examines three strategies of field research that emerged in this context of tightening scientific closure. Results: The article outlines several essential features of authoritarianism in Uzbekistan and tracks the regime's shift toward scientific closure over three distinct phases, tracing out the implications of this shift for those carrying out systematic field research. Conclusions: Uzbekistan illustrates the challenges and opportunities facing researchers under conditions of scientific closure in the 20–30 other countries ruled by hard authoritarian regimes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Social Sciences