Global research ethics in conflict settings: A toolkit for practice

Clara Calia, Joseph Burke, Cristobal Guerra, Action Amos

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Conducting global research in contexts of conflict presents a variety of complex ethical challenges, including disrupting local power dynamics, touching upon sensitive questions, and increasing risk for researchers and participants. The characteristics of ‘ethical research’, such as inclusivity, participation or accessibility, may themselves be contested. Such considerations have led some scholars to argue for more nuanced guidelines and professional training, while others have emphasised a need to clarify feasibility, necessity and harm-benefit ratio. In this paper, we introduce “the Ethics Toolkit”, which aims to promote ethical action in global research. The Ethics Toolkit was developed at the University of Edinburgh, UK, in collaboration with more than 200 global researchers from more than 30 countries and 60 different disciplines. This toolkit, rather than offering ethical regulation, offers a flexible frame of reference which promotes contextual ethical reflection and accountability within research teams. The global research toolkit proposes two fundamental axes of reflective analysis; firstly, iterative ethical analysis throughout the ‘Research Journey’, and secondly, ethical analysis based on the ‘4Ps’ model: Place, People, Principle and Precedent. We will present how the Toolkit could be a resource for global researchers that could help manage the particular challenges of working in contexts of conflict.


ConferenceBeyond Polarization? Healing Divides and Seizing Opportunities
in Conflict Research and Practice
Internet address

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • research ethics
  • conflict settings


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