“Ethical Imperialism” and the Export of Research Ethics Regulation from the Global North to South Africa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paper

Abstract

The global export of principlism forms part of broader international flows of capital, students and academics, as well as knowledge and ideology. The impact of global capital has had a long-standing effect on research ethics governance. Pharmaceutical companies have sought to open up new markets and take advantage of cheaper sites for multi-centre drug trials. Multinational research teams have looked to those countries with lower risks of litigation, low labour costs, pharmacologically ‘naive’ participants, weak ethics review and the absence of other regulatory processes. As a result, research in low- and middle-income countries has burgeoned. As developing countries struggle to keep pace, the Helsinki and UNESCO Declarations have created regulatory templates for those without the infrastructure to create their own, and a range of capacity-building initiatives in research ethics have encouraged researchers in many developing countries to follow these models. Increasing student and academic mobility and international research collaboration between the global North and South may also ease international transfer of a range of research and education policies that favour universalist approaches to research ethics. So, contemporary regulations in countries such as South Africa have shadowed developments in the North and have extended biomedical regulation to all forms of research. However, in some parts of the global South and the Fourth World, there is an emerging distrust and a critique of the motivation for some of the funding for capacity-building in research ethics. For many, opposition to uni­versalist claims is not simply targeted at insensitivity in application but draws on critical ethical traditions such as indigenous, postmodern and postcolonial ethics to challenge the universal basis for principlism, and calls for a deeper understanding of and engagement with how different socie­ties, cultures, peoples and disciplines understand ethics, research and ethical research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 39th African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAP) Annual Conference
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherAfrican Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAP)
Pages150-160
ISBN (Electronic)9780994268921
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017
EventAfrica: Moving the Boundaries: 39th African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAP) Annual Conference - University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
Duration: 5 Dec 20167 Dec 2016
Conference number: 39
http://afsaap.org.au/conference/perth-2016/

Conference

ConferenceAfrica: Moving the Boundaries
CountryAustralia
CityPerth
Period5/12/167/12/16
Internet address

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  • Cite this

    Israel, M. A. (2017). “Ethical Imperialism” and the Export of Research Ethics Regulation from the Global North to South Africa. In Proceedings of the 39th African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAP) Annual Conference (pp. 150-160). African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAP).