Think globally, act locally: Collective consent and the ethics of knowledge production
Hudson, M. (2009). Think globally, act locally: Collective consent and the ethics of knowledge production. International Social Science Journal, 60(195), 125-133.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/7444
Ethical review is an integral part of the process of developing research and considering issues associated with the production of knowledge. It is part of a system that primarily legitimises western traditions of inquiry and reinforces western assumptions about knowledge and its benefit to society. Around the world the process of colonisation has excluded indigenous understandings. In New Zealand, Māori (indigenous) knowledge has been similarly marginalised; this pattern is also reflected within ethical review. Māori values, while acknowledged, are not yet considered to have equal weight in ethical deliberations. The notion of collective rights and the possibility of developing processes to allow collective consent to be recognised and mandated by ethics committees have been raised by communities but largely ignored by the ethical review system. While kaupapa Māori researchers espouse the benefits of closer community involvement, policy makers and ethics committees have focused on “consultation” as the mechanism which confirms proof of engagement, the establishment of community support, and the relevance of the project. This article highlights the potential of the concept of collective consent in negotiations between researchers and communities.