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Research article2016Peer reviewed

Adaptive scholarship and situated knowledges? Hybrid methodologies and plural epistemologies in climate change adaptation research

Nightingale, A. J.


Climate change, along with other so-called global challenges, demands that scholars work across disciplines. Drawing on Donna Haraway's idea of situated knowledges, this paper develops an approach to mixing disciplines by engaging in epistemological pluralism, or approaching a research problem through more than one way of conceptualising it. The example of climate change adaptation planning in Nepal is used to show how a hybrid methodology research design requires thinking through what can be known and also what cannot be known by using a particular method. The main argument is that it is not possible to prove methodologically which conceptualisation or analytical entry point is better than another. Rather, new insights are gained both by triangulating data from different methods, and by probing the ways that they present contradictory results. An interdisciplinary research design is therefore used as a kind of kaleidoscope wherein plural epistemologies help to reveal new, albeit partial and situated, patterns.


climate change; political ecology; mixing methods; plural epistemologies; methodology; triangulation

Published in

2016, Volume: 48, number: 1, pages: 41-47

    Sustainable Development Goals

    Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
    Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Other Natural Sciences not elsewhere specified
    Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
    Human Geography

    Publication identifier


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