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This panel explores opportunities to ‘unsettle development’ offered by interrogating and re-imagining research ethics procedures and practices. We feature contributions of progressive engagement or experiments with research ethics, which ultimately help to promote progressive global social change.
Researchers and research projects are part of, not separate from, global inequalities and relations of power, thus we must reflect on our own practices and re-imagine our procedures, in order, ultimately, to be a part of progressive global social change. In this panel we are interested in exploring opportunities to ‘unsettle development’ offered by interrogating and re-imagining research ethics procedures and practices. Formal University ethics procedures must respond to demands to tackle global injustice and inequalities, but systems and structures for supporting this are currently uneven and often inadequate. Development studies scholars are typically well prepared for and practiced in conducting ethical research, however they are increasingly joined in their endeavours by those from other disciplines and sectors, who may have less training in and/or experience of negotiating the complex situational ethics which inevitably arise in development-oriented research. Beyond the University, demands to decolonise academia apply equally to ethical procedures and practices, with indigenous peoples offering their own criteria for ethical approval of research for example. In this panel we welcome contributions from those who explore opportunities to ‘unsettle’ current research ethics, and who offer examples of progressive engagement or experiments with them.