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Arts & Humanities Research Council
British Academy

Whose ethics? Politics and moral dilemmas of social research in Eastern Europe and beyond

Start: Oct 21, 2011 09:00 AM
End: Oct 21, 2011 06:00 PM

Location: University of Warwick, Millburn House, IAS Seminar Room.

The Third CEELBAS Research Ethics Workshop

View Programme
2011 Ethics Workshop 3

Ethical considerations are an important and intrinsic element of any research design. This has been long recognised and codified by different professional associations of social researchers working within the Western academic tradition. Arguably in the Central and East European context attention to research ethics is much more recent development which has been at least partly instigated by growing knowledge exchange and research collaboration across Europe, and indeed globally, during last twenty years. The series of CEELBAS workshops on ethical issues of research practices in Central and Eastern Europe to some extent reflects this process. The third workshop in this series continued this discussion of the practical issues and ethical dilemmas which researchers face while working in this region. At the same time, participants of this workshop were invited to engage in a more critical discussion of the seemingly universal notion of research ethics. By situating the debate within a particular regional context (Central and Eastern Europe) and historical moment (the decades which follow the collapse of the socialist state system there) the workshop put under scrutiny research ethics principles and practices as part of the politics of knowledge production.

2011 Ethics Workshop 2

The question of ‘Whose ethics?’ problematizes moral dilemmas of social research in terms of power relationships. In particular, the workshop participants - drawn from a number of social science and humanities disciplines and from UK and international universities - were asked to reflect on the development and interactions of different national traditions across the region (and beyond) and/or throughout history.

Eight high-quality academic presentations were delivered on panels structured in such a way as to facilitate critical discussion of three key themes:

2011 Ethics Workshop 1
  • 'Rapport and Relationships of Trust'
  • 'The Researcher as an "Insider"/"Outsider" and the (inter-/trans-)national Dimensions of Research Ethics'
  • 'Power Relationships and the Politics of Research Ethics'

A useful comparative discussion of ethical concerns relating to research practices in Eastern Europe and other regions (UK, China) was included in the programme. 

It is anticipated that a selection of the papers presented at the workshop will be published as part of a special issue of a social research methodology and/or area studies journal. The workshop also served as a unique learning experience for a number of postgraduate students, and has both consolidated existing  networks of young scholars and established new ones.