The second part of this book considers ‘sensitive issues’. Although the chapters variously describe the sensitivity of the matters they address, it is helpful to start with a broad definition of what is under consideration in the part; Lee (1993) is a much-cited source in this area; he suggests that ‘sensitive topics present problems because research into them involves potential costs to those involved in the research, including, on occasion, the researcher’ (Lee, 1993: 4). The chapters in this section considers – sex offenders, child victims of sexual assault, war crimes and environmental issues. Malcolm Cowburn highlights the need for respecting the dignity of sex offender research participants in construing, designing, implementing and reporting research. He explores issues relating to managing confidentiality whilst ensuring that no harm comes from the research. Additionally he considers ethical issues related to the dissemination of research findings. Simon Hackett notes that research on the impact of sexual abuse on children has in the past been confined to retrospective studies with adult survivors. He argues strongly that well-managed research can be conducted with children who have been affected by sexual abuse if ethically and developmentally sensitive methodologies are adopted. As part of this, consideration of the identities (gender, ethnicity and so on) and power of researchers is of fundamental importance. Issues of informed consent, confidentiality, the safety and protection of research participants, and managing distress and disclosures are explored. Kirsten Campbell identifies three key sets of ethical challenges in researching war crimes. The first is epistemological and concerns how the researcher defines and theorises the nature of war crimes. The second set of ethical challenges relate to the context of conflict, which inevitably situates the researcher in a violent and politicized research field. The third challenge which is intrinsic to research quality and integrity and concerns the choice of

methodology and methods. In considering ‘green criminology’ Avi Brisman and Nigel South note the extensive range of issues under consideration, and the diversity of methods used ranging from analysis of epidemiological and large data sets to localised anthropological and visual analysis. The sensitive nature of green criminological research lies in the delicate negotiations for gaining (and sustaining) research access to data sources that are often protected by gatekeepers, and possibly central to political and/or cultural conflicts, and power imbalances. Ethical and political issues may arise where research is critical of state and corporate systems and makes calls for more rigorous regulatory and legal interventions.