Introduction to Part III
DOI link for Introduction to Part III
Introduction to Part III book
The final part of the book considers issues of governance and pragmatism; governance is concerned with ensuring that researchers are accountable for the nature and conduct of their projects. Accountability lies beyond the immediate parameters of the project and may link to University ethics committees, other external ethics committees (for example linked to criminal justice or health institutions) or funding bodies. Mark Israel and Loraine Gelsthorpe highlight conflicting perspectives on the operation of research governance bodies – on the one hand they may be an independent means for protecting research participants from over-ambitious or insensitive research programmes; on the other hand they may be groups of people divorced from the context of research and concerned only with protecting institutional reputation. They go on to describe how positive practices of ethics ideally merge the strengths of both perspectives and can inform research and teaching agendas in criminology. Simon Winlow and Fiona Measham, however take an adversarial position in relation to the role of institutional ethics committees, which they suggest are closely tied to market forces that seek to shape particular forms of knowledge. Commercial demands, they suggest, exert powerful influence on the decisions made by University ethics committees, and within this is the imperative to avoid litigation and reputational damage which may adversely affect the University’s ability to generate income (from recruiting students and securing research funding). They suggest that ethnography and social science research should be protected from the distorting demands of market forces.