Ethics, justice, and the practice of development research [paper]

Sarah White (University of Bath)
Parvati Raghuram (The Open University)
Julia Schöneberg (University of Kassel and EADI)
Katja Bender (Bonn-Rhine-Sieg University of Applied Sciences)
Giles Mohan (Open University)
Impactful development?
Berrill Theatre
Session slots:

Short abstract:

Ethics and justice are central to development issues, but there exist at present no dedicated ethical guidelines for development research. EADI and DSA are committed jointly to produce such guidelines, and this panel will feed into that process. Sessions will be interactive and participatory.

Long abstract:

Development studies is founded on a primary recognition of the historic injustice of global poverty and inequalities and a commitment to combat these through its teaching, research and engagement with development practice. This has implications both for what is researched (the issues and subjects) and for how development research should be conducted. In developing ethical guidelines for development research DSA and EADI recognise that this is a conjunctural moment. First, the global rise of authoritarian populism brings responsibilities to build solidarity, as researchers, activists and journalists face increasing threats and danger. Second, increasing regulation of research, such as rules for data storage, safeguarding, intellectual property bring new challenges for diversity and justice. Third, can the diversification of development research funding towards greater inter-disciplinarity promote the interests of research partners and participants in the global South? Fourth, how can we ensure that the guidelines both reflect the widening range of actors and contexts in which development is done, and become part of good practice within not just the academy but also the wider industry? Fifth, amidst talk of de-colonising the academy and cognitive justice, how can we resist and reverse ongoing colonial patterns of subordination, exploitation and extraction in the structures, culture and practice of development research? Abstracts that speak to these or related themes are invited. If your abstract is accepted, you will be asked to produce a short paper (max 3000 words) for circulation in advance. These will become the resource materials feeding into the sessions themselves.