Bureacratizing Ethics: Institutional Review Boards and Participatory Research

  • Deborah G. Martin School of Geography, Clark University
Keywords: research ethics, Institutional Review Boards, participatory research, ethics


This paper provides a brief history of regulatory research ethics, as embodied in Institutional Review Boards in the United States. The purpose is to foster common disciplinary understanding of the origin and purpose of IRBs, and to identify the core conflict between the philosophies of participatory action research and regulatory ethics. That conflict centers on the contradictory language and associated understandings of research “subjects” and “participants”. I suggest a need for more disciplinary engagements around this conflict, to foster more open ethical debates and competencies among geographers.
How to Cite
Martin, D. (1). Bureacratizing Ethics: Institutional Review Boards and Participatory Research. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 6(3), 319-328. Retrieved from https://acme-journal.org/index.php/acme/article/view/780
Special Issue - Participatory Ethics (Guest Edited by Caitlin Cahill, Farhana Sultana, and Rachel Pain)