Ethics and Experiments: Problems and Solutions for Social Scientists and Policy Professionals

Front Cover
Scott Desposato
Routledge, Dec 22, 2015 - Political Science - 322 pages

For most of political science's history, discussions about professional ethics had nothing to do with human subjects. Professional ethics involved integrity in the classroom, fair tenure and promotion rule, and the careful avoidance of plagiarism. As most research was observational, there was little need for attention to how scholarly activities might directly affect the subjects of our work. Times have changed. The dramatic growth in the use of experiments in social science, especially overseas, is generating unexpected ethical controversies. The purpose of this volume is to identify, debate, and propose practical solutions to the most critical of these new ethical issues.

A leading team of internationally distinguished political science scholars presents the first examination of the practical and ethical challenges of research with human subjects in social science and policy studies.

Part 1 examines contextual challenges provided by experiments conducted overseas - questions of culture, religion, security, and poverty.

Part 2 examines questions of legal constraints on research, focusing on questions of foreign review of international experiments.

Part 3 tackles the critical issues in field experiments, including deception and consent, impact on elections and careers, the boundaries of the public officials' exemption, and the use of partner organizations to avoid Institutional Review Body (IRB) review.

Part 4 considers strategies for the future, including training and education, IRB reform, institutional changes, and norm development.

 

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Contents

1 Introduction
1
PART I Contextual Challenges for Experimentalists
23
PART II Local Ethical Review When Conducting Experiments Internationally
97
PART III The Ethical Challenges of Field Experiments
149
PART IV Strategies for Moving Forward
239
List of Contributors
290
References
292
Index
308
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About the author (2015)

Scott Desposato has held positions at the University of Zurich, the University of Arizona, as well as the Harvard Academy, and is currently Associate Professor of Political Science at University of California, San Diego, USA. His research interests include American and comparative elections, institutions, voting behavior, and methodology.

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