Dominant logics of knowledge production, such as epistemic imbalances, continue affecting collaborative research efforts and have proven difficult to overcome. Funding agencies and selection commitees are usually based in the Global North, which limits the inclusion of voices from the Global South in the initiation and organisation of research. On the ground, the awareness about how these standards have induced specific ways of doing research and reproduced power imbalances is even thinner. Many of these issues have gained increased visibility and small steps have been made to move away from the status quo. However, these have not led to a radical change in how collaborative research is framed, funded and executed.

This contribution is a dialogue between Godefroid Muzalia Kihangu and Koen Vlassenroot, two Conflict Studies academics, who have both invested in close research collaboration. They discuss how they have lived and dealt with these realities, and reflect on the question of how to transcend existing logics to build collaboration based on inclusion, equity and equality, trust and horizontal partnership.

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