Sunday, August 10, 2008

The New Bureaucracies of Virtue

Pity the poor blogger. When I started this blog, I expected to report on the occasional journal article on IRB review of the social sciences. Instead, I find that journals insist on publishing special symposium issues with several articles on the topic. Rather than sipping a beer I must down a six-pack.

In the coming weeks I plan to take on the November 2007 issue of PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review (Vol. 30, Number 2), which includes eight articles totally 147 pages, some of them based on an October 2006 symposium at Cornell. In their introduction to the symposium, organizers Marie-Andrée Jacob and Annelise Riles, write,

Although we certainly do not defend the current regulatory framework of research, we also wanted to press the pause button on the ambient criticism of IRBs and accompanying expressions of fears and anxieties about their impact on research and free speech. Instead, we wanted to trigger a discussion that would harness, among other things, these practical anxieties in the service of a larger theoretical and epistemological inquiry. (183)

As someone more interested in the practical than the theoretical or epistemological, I'm not sure this is my thing, but I'll do my best. And while I can't promise to comment on all the essays, here's the table of contents:

SYMPOSIUM: Papering Ethics, Documenting Consent: The New Bureaucracies of Virtue

  • Marie-Andrée Jacob and Annelise Riles, "The New Bureaucracies of Virtue: Introduction"

  • Charles L. Bosk, "The New Bureaucracies of Virtue or When Form Fails to Follow Function"

  • Amy Swiffen, "Research and Moral Law: Ethics and the Social Science Research Relation"

  • Jennifer Shannon, "Informed Consent: Documenting the Intersection of Bureaucratic Regulation and Ethnographic Practice"

  • Marie-Andrée Jacob, "Form-Made Persons: Consent Forms as Consent’s Blind Spot"

  • Stefan Sperling, "Knowledge Rites and the Right Not to Know"

  • Adriana Petryna, "Experimentality: On the Global Mobility and Regulation of Human Subjects Research"

  • Rena Lederman, "Comparative 'Research': A Modest Proposal concerning the Object of Ethics Regulation

No comments: