Do we get a better view from closer? Being an embedded researcher in Parliament

By Willy Beauvallet, Julien Fragnon, Sarah Perret

Does a specificity of the collaborator-researcher “actor” exist? This study examines this dual status which raises both epistemological and methodological questions about the approach to the fieldwork and the research object. But it also questions the effects of such a research posture on professional practice. To what extent do these two postures influence each other? This collaborative work aims to answer these questions through the reflexive analysis of each of the three contributors on their own experiences as collaborators of local elected representatives, members of Parliament and a minister. The aim is to identify possible paths of conducting research by placing the hybrid position of researcher-collaborator at the heart of the analysis. The article demonstrates that, despite certain methodological limitations of this dual status, it offers real heuristic advantages both methodologically and empirically in terms of understanding the functioning of Parliament and the ultimately heterogeneous role of parliamentary staff.

  • Parliament
  • fieldwork method
  • political collaborator
  • institutions
  • public policies
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