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Some researchers consider most social media communications as public, and posts from networks such as Twitter are routinely harvested and published without anonymization…
Some researchers consider most social media communications as public, and posts from networks such as Twitter are routinely harvested and published without anonymization and without direct consent from users. In this chapter, we argue that researchers must move beyond the permissions granted by ‘legal’ accounts of the use of these new forms of data (e.g., Terms and Conditions) to a more nuanced and reflexive ethical approach that puts user expectations, safety, and privacy rights center stage. Through two projects, we present qualitative and quantitative data that illustrate social media users’ views on the use of their data by researchers. Over four in five report expecting to be asked for their consent and nine in ten expect anonymity ahead of publication of their Twitter posts. Given the unique nature of this online public environment and what we know about users’ views pertaining to informed consent, anonymity, and harm, we conclude researchers seeking to embark on social media research should conduct a risk assessment to determine likely privacy infringement and potential user harm from publishing user content.
Over the past decade, the number of people engaging with social media has grown rapidly. This means that social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are…
Over the past decade, the number of people engaging with social media has grown rapidly. This means that social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are potentially good sources of rich, naturally occurring data. As a result, a growing number of researchers are utilizing these platforms for the collection of data on any number of topics. To date, no consistent approach to the ethics of using social media data has been provided to researchers in this sphere. This chapter presents research that has developed an ethics framework for the use of researchers working with social media data. The chapter also presents the framework itself and guidance on how to use the framework when conducting social media research. A full report can be accessed on: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/socsci/research/new-europe-centre/information-societies-projects-225.php
The sudden rise of the socio-political importance of security that has marked the twenty-first century entails a commensurate empowerment of the intelligence apparatus…
The sudden rise of the socio-political importance of security that has marked the twenty-first century entails a commensurate empowerment of the intelligence apparatus. This chapter takes the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 as a vantage point from where to address the political significance of this development. It provides an account of the powers the Act grants intelligence agencies, concluding that it effectively legalizes their operational paradigm. Further, the socio-legal dynamics that informed the Act lead the chapter to conclude that Intelligence has become a dominant apparatus within the state. This chapter pivots at this point. It seeks to identify, first, the reasons of this empowerment; and, second, its effects on liberal-democratic forms, including the rule of law. The key reason for intelligence empowerment is the adoption of a pre-emptive security strategy, geared toward neutralizing threats that are yet unformed. Regarding its effects on liberal democracy, the chapter notes the incompatibility of the logic of intelligence with the rule of law. It further argues that the empowerment of intelligence pertains to the rise of a new threat-based governmental logic. It outlines the core premises of this logic to argue that they strengthen the anti-democratic elements in liberalism, but in a manner that liberalism is overcome.
Much of the administrative literature on public participation in environmental decision making assumes that citizen involvement contributes to reflexive deliberations…
Much of the administrative literature on public participation in environmental decision making assumes that citizen involvement contributes to reflexive deliberations, communication, effective representation, and consensus building in the public sphere. We will argue that for all the intuitive appeal of public participation, it may ironically limit the boundaries of possible change all under the normative guise of democracy and fair and open deliberations concerning environmental issues. In particular, we critically examine the citizen as a stakeholder as one mechanism that obscures as much as it reveals about public participation. To explore some of the implications of this critical approach, Jurgen Habermas and David Harvey’s ideas will be examined, who, from their own differing perspectives, contend that the forces of social conflict and change cannot be so easily contained under a public participative approach to environmental decision making.
Neoliberal political ideologies have been criticised for their blanket prescription of market reform as the solution to almost any social or environmental problem. This…
Neoliberal political ideologies have been criticised for their blanket prescription of market reform as the solution to almost any social or environmental problem. This chapter thus examines the ability of market-based solutions to deal with the spatial and social diversity that characterises environmental problems in agriculture. In doing so, the chapter draws on case studies of the international fair trade movement and the regionalisation of natural resource management measures in Australia. Both these cases accept the neoliberal view that social and ecological degradation arises from the failure of markets to reflect the full cost of production, and seek, therefore, to achieve social and environmental objectives through the parallel pursuit of economic rationality. In Australia, voluntary planning and educational activities coordinated at a range of scales from the very local to the water catchment, encourage compliance with locally developed management plans and codes of practice that link the expression of private property rights with a ‘duty of care’ to the environment. In the process, landholders are re-defined as prudent and self-reliant businesspeople for whom sustainable resource management is an essential component of financial viability. Fair trade, by contrast, seeks to transfer social and environmental ‘duties of care’ through the entire fair-trade commodity chain. Auditing, certification and the payment of farm-gate price premiums enable Western consumers to become ‘partners’ in the economic and social development of small and marginalised farming communities; guaranteeing that the ‘fair price’ paid for commodities is reflected in the incomes and, importantly, expenditures of the people receiving them. Despite their differences, these cases are allied in their opposition to protectionist trade policies, their commitment to building the viability of farms as productive business units through exposure to ‘the market’, and their appeals to self-responsibility, empowerment and democratisation. And, ultimately, both fail, by themselves, to deal adequately with the spatial and social diversity that underlies agri-environmental processes and problems. Neither approach, it is suggested, should be abandoned. However, complementary processes of fair trade and bioregional planning are required if either are to achieve their maximum impact.
The purpose of this paper is to explore the types of ethical challenges and dilemmas researchers face when engaging in family consumption research.
Drawing from the concept of micro-ethics to bridge reflexivity with ethics in practice, the paper provides a reflexive account of the various ethical dilemmas encountered by two family consumption scholars during their fieldwork. Both researchers conducted qualitative research on family meals.
The paper reveals five types of ethical tensions that can arise when doing research on family consumption. These tensions are addressed as display, positioning, emotional, practical and consent dilemmas, all of which have ethical implications. The findings unpack these dilemmas, showing empirical and reflexive accounts of the researchers as they engage in ethics in practice. Solutions and practical strategies for dealing with these ethical tensions are provided.
Despite the growing interest in interpretive family research, there is less attention on the ethical and emotional challenges researchers face when entering the family consumption scape. As researching families involves entering an intimate area of participants’ lives, the field may be replete with tensions that may affect the researcher. This paper brings the concept of micro-ethics to family marketing literature, showing how researchers can do ethics in practice. The paper draws on reflexive accounts of two researchers’ personal experiences, showing their emotional, practical, positioning and display challenges. It also provides practical strategies for researchers to deal with dilemmas in the field.
Despite continuing disagreement about the meaning of ‘sustainable development’, the so-called triple-bottom-line trajectory – which would see economic advancement being…
Despite continuing disagreement about the meaning of ‘sustainable development’, the so-called triple-bottom-line trajectory – which would see economic advancement being achieved alongside social equity and environmental security – is viewed as one of the promises for future progress regionally, nationally and globally. At the regional level we are witnessing various experiments in governance that cut across, challenge and undermine existing decision-making structures. They are being developed and implemented because of the perceived failure of older forms of governance to deliver sustainable development. This chapter will examine the ‘regional experiment’ that is occurring within the advanced societies, identifying the general features of the schemes, policies and programmes that are being promoted to bring about sustainable development. From a policy perspective, it will seek to identify the elements, and forms, of regional governance that appear to provide the best options for sustainable development.
The chapter attempts to evaluate the utility of applying multi-level governance outside of the EU, and also outside of the group of democratic states, to states that have…
The chapter attempts to evaluate the utility of applying multi-level governance outside of the EU, and also outside of the group of democratic states, to states that have defied the third wave of democratization and that are characterized by a so-called new authoritarianism. The case is the People’s Republic of China, and the focus falls on policy-making and implementation in the field of hydropower with special attention to the issue area of environmental protection.
The chapter draws on the notion of scales and indigenous Chinese governance concepts and brings these into a conversation with the concept of multi-level governance. Case studies on hydropower decision-making in China contribute empirical data in order to investigate the utility of multi-level governance in the Chinese governance context.
The chapter argues that if multi-level governance is to have utility in other cultural contexts it needs to move away from a consideration of pre-given scales as locus of authority and consider indigenous governance concepts and notions of scale, and it crucially needs to map power relationships in the making and implementation of policies in order to reach analytical depth.
The case of China shows that authoritarian regimes can be analysed in terms of multiple levels as authoritarianism no longer automatically implies strict top-down entities. Instead, autocracies can be highly fragmented and subject to complex decision-making processes that can arise during processes of administrative reform. This can lead to vibrant and reflexive systems of governance that exhibit adaptive skills necessary to ensure regime survival amidst a continuously diversifying society and changing external circumstances. As a consequence, a research programme looking at the new authoritarianism from a multi-level governance perspective has the capacity to uncover and describe new forms of governance, by bringing the concept into a conversation with indigenous governance concepts.
In China, informal networks between the energy bureaucracy and hydropower developers determine the hydropower decision-making process. This is particularly detrimental at a time when the Chinese government emphasizes the importance of the rule of law and social stability. Informal networks in which key government agencies are involved actively thwart the attempt of creating reliable institutions and more transparent and accountable processes of decision-making within the authoritarian governance framework.
The findings show the dominance of informal networks versus the formal decision-making process. This sidelines the environmental bureaucracy and fails to fully realize the importance of public input into the decision-making process as one potential element of institutionalized conflict resolution.
The chapter builds on existing multi-level governance approaches and fuses them with notions of scales and indigenous Chinese governance concepts in order to enable the applicability of the concept of multi-level governance outside of its area of origin. This advances the explanatory depth and theoretical reach of multi-level governance.