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Artikel

Een wolf onder de wolven. Ethiek en Ethische Commissies in criminologisch onderzoek naar ‘the powerful’

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 3 2018
Trefwoorden Ethics committees, The powerful, Moral entrepreneurs, Ethics creep, Arms trader
Auteurs Dr. Rita Faria en Dr. Yarin Eski
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    For quite some years now, crimes of ‘the powerful’ have been studied by criminologists. While researching crimes of ‘the powerful’, researchers aim to maintain and safeguard their integrity and ethics. However, there seems to be a friction between, on the one hand, ethics of the researchers themselves and on the other hand, ethics (policies) of universities. Obviously, not only do they have to justify their actions and decisions to themselves and ‘science’ as a whole, they must justify their research to ethics committees (EC’s) of universities. It could result in complex and difficult situations when researchers suspect that EC’s themselves may be instruments and products of the powerful groups they are studying. In that case, EC’s might undermine ethics and research integrity themselves. What do certain EC- ‘conditions’ look like for research ethics and to which extent do they have to be adjusted or reconsidered when criminologists are researching ‘the powerful’? The key question that will be answered in this contribution is as follows: how can criminologist (re)act ethically responsibly when confronted with (un)ethical committees? To answer this and other relevant questions, after reviewing literature, we reflect on a biographical study of a legal arms trader. We then elaborate on the ‘ethics creep’ (Haggerty, 2004) that seems to haunt social sciences nowadays.


Dr. Rita Faria
Rita Faria Docent criminologie, University of Porto rfaria@direito.up.pt

Dr. Yarin Eski
Yarin Eski Docent criminologie, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam y.eski@vu.nl
Artikel

Ethische dilemma’s bij criminologisch onderzoek

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 1 2015
Trefwoorden Ethical issues, Scientific integrity, Confidentiality, Informed consent, Fabrication and falsification, Ethical commissions
Auteurs Prof. dr. Henk van de Bunt
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Recent years have seen a growing interest in scientific malpractice. In the Netherlands, for example, several major cases of plagiarism, fabrication of data and falsification of findings have come to light. The scandal surrounding the Dutch social psychologist Diederik Stapel, who simply made up the results of empirical research, prompted worldwide attention. As a result of these scandals, universities have, in the past few years, increased their efforts to better ensure the integrity of scientific research. In this process it is sometimes overlooked that scientific integrity is not a clear-cut concept. By examining three ethical issues relevant to criminological research, this article aims to illustrate that the assessment of integrity is a complicated matter. The first dilemma relates to maintaining confidentiality: how to ensure that the privacy of respondents is protected and the research will not harm their interests? The second dilemma has to do with the degree of openness and transparency required from the viewpoint of scientific accountability. How transparent can one be when it comes to conducting scientific research based on secret information and closed sources that are only accessible to the researchers? Finally, the third dilemma concerns the independent position of criminological research. What are the possibilities and limitations of free and independent research in the field of criminology?


Prof. dr. Henk van de Bunt
Prof. dr. H.G. (Henk) van de Bunt is hoogleraar criminologie aan de Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.
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