Call for Chapter Abstracts Researchers at Risk: The Precarious Positions of Scholars Conducting Dangerous Enquiries

Edited by
Deborah L. Mulligan and Patrick Alan Danaher
University of Southern Queensland, Australia

This proposed edited research book is focused on the phenomenon of researchers at risk – that is, the experiences and perceptions of scholars whose topics of research require them to engage with diverse kinds of dangers, uncertainties or vulnerabilities. Sometimes this risk derives from working with variously marginalised individuals and groups, or from being members of such groups themselves; at other times, the risk relates to particular economic or environmental conditions and/or political forces influencing the specific research fields in which they operate. Researchers at risk frequently encounter ethical dilemmas focused on their relationships with the participants and other stakeholders in the research, including when they construct themselves, or are constructed by others, such as activists or lobbyists. Furthermore, they are required to navigate often perilous positions in order to conduct their dangerous enquiries in ways that protect the research participants as well as themselves.
The chapters in this book identify and elaborate a wide range of different types of risk to which contemporary researchers can be subjected. These types include, but are not limited to:
•       Emotional risk
•       Mental risk
•       Personal risk
•       Physical risk
•       Professional risk
•       Reputational risk
•       Spiritual risk
•       Wellbeing risk
for researchers and/or the participants with whom they conduct research.

Across the range of issues traversed in the book, it is planned that the following organising questions will be addressed:
1.      What are the different kinds of risk that contemporary researchers encounter when conducting their research?
2.      Why do some researchers encounter risk, and what are the effects of that risk on their research?
3.      How can researchers engage effectively and ethically with the risks attending their research?
4.      How do researchers at risk navigate the world after completion of their research?
5.      What do researchers’ precarious positions signify about the character, possibilities and limitations of contemporary research?
6.      How can researchers’ dangerous enquiries contribute to reconceptualising and reimagining the work and identities of contemporary scholars?

Abstracts of no more than 250 words are cordially invited as potential chapters for this proposed edited research book. The editors seek submissions that represent a diversity of geographical location, disciplinary focus, and theoretical and methodological approaches, united by a shared focus on the work and identities of researchers at risk, and on the strategies that researchers can enact that engage with, mitigate and subvert that risk. Please email your abstract and a bionote of no more than 125 words for each chapter author to either or

1.      Deborah L. Mulligan has spoken at a number of academic symposiums in South East Queensland and has presented in state-wide webinars. Her primary research interest resides in the field of gerontology. Her PhD investigated the role of contributive needs when addressing older men and suicide ideation. Deborah has a strong interest in community capacity building as a means of transforming the lives of older adults and combating the negative stereotypes surrounding this demographic. She is also interested in the long-term effects of research on the participants and the ethical implications of investigating marginalised groups. Email:

2.      Patrick Alan Danaher is Professor of Educational Research in the School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education at the Toowoomba campus of the University of Southern Queensland, Australia, where he is also currently Acting Dean of the Graduate Research School. He is also currently an Adjunct Professor in the School of Education and the Arts at Central Queensland University, Australia; and Docent in Social Justice and Education at the University of Helsinki, Finland. His research interests include the education of occupationally mobile communities; education research ethics, methods, politics and theories; and academics’, educators’ and researchers’ work and identities. Email: