Intuition and congruence: researching peace in Melanesia


  • Louise Vella


Action research, decolonisation


Researching peace and conflict in the Solomon Islands is a sensitive and nuanced process.

The research must be guided by a methodology that is congruent with the epistemology and ontology of the Melanesian context, the peace studies discipline, as well as the researcher and participants involved. Research that is participatory and orientated towards action for positive social change is both desirable and necessary for effective research in this context. Participatory action research allows the research to capture and explore the affective, intrinsically intertwined nature of contemporary conflict in an indigenous setting. The key tenets of transformative research provide a relevant reference to the values that are inherent to participatory action research, an indigenous epistemology and peace research – that the research be a holistic, ethical, empowering and emancipatory process.