New ESRC Course – ‘Legal, ethical and moral issues in researching conflict, violence and peace’


This course is open to PhD students, early career researchers and practitioners in civil society groups and will deal with the legal, ethical and moral issues around studying conflict, violence and peace in dangerous and sensitive locations. Its concerns include the following: the management of risk and danger, both to researchers and respondents; the special problems posed when undertaking sensitive research; issues around the management of gender and identity in the field in dangerous settings; recent developments in ethical and legal practice and the new regulatory codes of conduct; problems around the legal constraints operating on informed consent and promises of confidentiality; the management of risk in data collection; dealing with the problem of what is called respondents’ ‘guilty knowledge’; and the legal and ethical issues involved in dissemination and publication. This draws on the expertise of course teachers in the field of sensitive and dangerous research and in the legal conduct of research.

Advanced training in this area meets a growing need in the research community as research on conflict, violence and peace increases in line with the global growth in these issues in late modernity. The course is multi-disciplinary and comparative, thus enhancing the development of multi-disciplinary comparative research in British social science. The course will address ethical and legal regulatory frameworks, ensuring that the training in methodological rigour which participants gain from elsewhere is directly coupled with considerations of risk, ethics and law, thus further centralising and mainstreaming moral, ethical and legal standards in research training and practice. The course integrates the skills and experiences of senior staff with early career researchers and teachers, building capacity in British social science. The course integrates law and legal studies with other social sciences and enhances the collaboration between them.

Course delivery will be by traditional lectures by recognised experts, in-depth analyses of actual cases by the researchers engaged with them, participant-led discussion of hypothetical cases that highlight significant research dilemmas, and open-forum discussion.

The deadline for submission of registration forms is Tuesday 30 June 2015.

For more information, please go to:

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