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2012 FEMA Higher Education Conference Tuesday, June 5 th, 2012 – 3:00pm to 5:00pm Confronting Research Issues in Emergency Management Higher Education.

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Presentation on theme: "2012 FEMA Higher Education Conference Tuesday, June 5 th, 2012 – 3:00pm to 5:00pm Confronting Research Issues in Emergency Management Higher Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 2012 FEMA Higher Education Conference Tuesday, June 5 th, 2012 – 3:00pm to 5:00pm Confronting Research Issues in Emergency Management Higher Education Jack L. Rozdilsky, Ph.D. Emergency Management Program Western Illinois University

2 AGENDA for REMARKS 1.How do we overcome access and participation issues? 2.How do we contend with politicization of the practice of Emergency Management and its impact on research? 3.To what ethical guidelines should we adhere? Are there unique ethical issues in Emergency Management research? Confronting Research Issues in Emergency Management Higher Education Address Three of the Moderator’s Questions

3 AGENDA for REMARKS 1.Brief generalized description of a Chicago NATO Summit related research project that did not take place 2.Use the case study as a launching point to highlight three research issues 3.Highlight the issues of access, politicization, and ethics in relation to how they impact research Confronting Research Issues in Emergency Management Higher Education Presentation Topics

4 Confronting Research Issues Case Study of Examples of Issues We work in an era of “Homeland Security” Research on certain topics considered as “Homeland Security” related can be challenging Acknowledgement and understanding that it can be in the interest of the nation-state to limit information

5 Confronting Research Issues Case Study of Examples of Issues  Example: May 2012 Chicago NATO & G8 Summit G8 and NATO Summits originally scheduled for Chicago G8 summit withdrawn to Camp David, Maryland NATO Summit remained in Chicago National Special Security Event (NSSE) designation NATO Summit took place on May 19-20 in Chicago

6 Confronting Research Issues Case Study of Examples of Issues  Example: May 2012 Chicago NATO & G8 Summit Potential research did not take place Unable to overcome challenges Not suggesting right or wrong decisions were made by government agencies The point is to illustrate that certain types of emergency management research can lead to the researcher confronting many issues

7 Confronting Research Issues Case Study of Examples of Issues  Example: Chicago NATO & G8 Summit in May 2012 G8 summit withdrawn to Camp David, Maryland NATO Summit remained in Chicago Numerous Local, State, and Federal level planning efforts Many researchable questions in the realm of the social hazards Special events (like international summits) are not necessarily hazards for host communities, but they can be

8 Confronting Research Issues Case Study of Examples of Issues  Example: Chicago NATO & G8 Summit in May 2012 Research question posed – What intergovernmental cooperation issues exist and how they are solved (or not) in mega-event management? Research grounding – Very little literature on any aspects intergovernmental cooperation surrounding NSSEs Project approach – Formal social science research proposal with IRB clearance; formal request for access to personnel and operation center; Willingness to embargo any findings until after the event

9 Confronting Research Issues Case Study of Examples of Issues  Example: Chicago NATO & G8 Summit in May 2012 Formal Requests Made – To director level agency personnel to engage in research related to the management of the event Response to Requests – Government agencies were not able to cooperate in any aspect of the research Reasoning from Government Agencies – Researcher was not a credentialed person; access to anything or anybody restricted is credentialed personnel only

10 Confronting Research Issues Case Study of Examples of Issues  Example: Chicago NATO & G8 Summit in May 2012 Outcome – Research considering the intergovernmental cooperation during the NATO summit did not take place Efforts Expended – Wasted (maybe?); no deliverables to account for time and effort spent Spinoffs – Able to convert portion of work to private sector considerations; information to contribute to this session

11 Confronting Research Issues Examples of Research Spinoff

12 Confronting Research Issues Addressing the Moderator’s Questions Moderator’s Question – How do we overcome access and participation issues? NATO Summit Case Study Findings – Access issues can halt any study immediately

13 Confronting Research Issues Overcoming access and participation issues Homeland Security designations can prevent access The issues of credentialing can prevent access Confronting the Challenge:  Are certain types of events off limits to the research community?  Can researchers be credentialed?  Is there any space for discussion with government agencies on these matters?

14 Confronting Research Issues Addressing the Moderator’s Questions Moderator’s Question – How do we contend with politicization and its impact on research? NATO Summit Case Study Findings – A very politicized event, hard to imagine that this factor did not influence government agencies interactions with researchers

15 Confronting Research Issues Politicization of Research Politicization can spoil the field for any research Hesitancy for any openness or release of information Confronting the Challenge:  Is the researcher aware that he/she can be used as a pawn for political goals unrelated to the research?  Perhaps granting of access or not granting of access is the result of political motives?  Interpretation of results by political partisans

16 Confronting Research Issues Addressing the Moderator’s Questions Moderator’s Question – To what ethical guidelines should we adhere? NATO Summit Case Study Findings – Could have resulted in situations of ethical conflicts with research results (denied access to data, so this did not happen)

17 Confronting Research Issues Ethical Standards Power-related ethical questions concerning the role of gatekeepers Gatekeepers can grant access or other types of support (like funding) based on certain expectations Confronting the Challenge:  At the onset, the researcher needs to decide what ethical standards he or she will uphold  Understand the dangers of gatekeepers dictating research methods and results

18 Confronting Research Issues Concluding Statement The first step to confronting research issues is to realize... “Every research activity is an exercise in research ethics, every research question is a moral dilemma, every research decision is an instantiation of values.” 1 1 From Clegg and Slife (2010, p 24) in Clegg Joshua W. and Brent D. Slife (2009). “Chapter 2: Research Ethics in the Postmodern Context.” in Mertens, Donna M. and Pauline E. Ginsberg. (2009) The Handbook of Social Research Ethics. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.


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