Ethical Principles in Social-Behavioral Research on Terrorism

Probing the Parameters

Edited by Tora K. Bikson, Ricky N. Bluthenthal, Rick Eden, Patrick P. Gunn

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This RAND Working Paper documents the proceedings of a daylong workshop held in January 2007 to probe the parameters that should guide the ethical conduct of social and behavioral research on terrorism. The conference was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Justice, supplemented by RAND. Such research is frequently conducted in countries or among groups hostile to the United States. Sessions addressed “Deception and Concealment vs. Autonomy,” “Maximizing Beneficence and Maintaining Justice,” and “Ensuring Confidentiality.” For each session, the proceedings include a presentation, comments from an expert panel, and a synopsis of the plenary discussion. Workshop attendees represented researchers on terrorism, research ethicists, professional societies with pertinent codes of ethics, major funders of social and behavioral research related to terrorism, Institutional Review Boards that have dealt with such research, and the Office of Human Research Protection (Department of Health and Human Services).

If you would like a hard copy or CD-ROM of these workshop proceedings, please call 1.310.393.0411 x6595, or

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction by Michael Rich

  • Chapter Two

    Deception and Concealment vs. Autonomy

  • Chapter Three

    Maximizing Beneficence and Maintaining Justice

  • Chapter Four

    Ensuring Confidentiality

  • Chapter Five

    Closing Session

  • Appendix A

    Short Profiles of Workshop Participants

  • Appendix B

    List of Workshop Participants

This document was prepared for the National Science Foundation and the Department of Justice.

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