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Ethics and Rights in a Security Context

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Professor Tom Sorell is Research Integrator for the ESRC Ethics and Rights in a Security Context call.

Ethics and Rights in a Security Context

Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

The Ethics and Rights in a Security Context call commissioned new research projects to develop greater understanding of the role of ethics and rights in a security environment, with a focus on governance viewed through seven research themes:

  • Legitimacy
  • Jurisdiction
  • Autonomy
  • Temporality
  • Surveillance
  • Protection
  • Agency

Ethics and rights are central to the study of security. They have an important place across a range of security contexts and at a number of scales or frames of analysis – including the individual, organisational, state and international levels. It is intended that research projects will bring a greater focus to ethics as a framework to enable and empower policy rather than hinder it.

Research Grants


The seven projects funded by the call are the following.

Treating People as Objects? Ethics, Security and the Governance of Mobility
Principal Investigator: Dr Tom Walker – Queen’s University Belfast

Moral Victories: Ethics, Exit Strategies, and the Ending of Wars
Principal Investigator: Dr Cian O’Driscoll – University of Glasgow

The Responsibility to Protect in the context of the continuing War on Terror – A study of liberal interventionism and the Syrian crisis
Principal Investigator: Professor Jason Ralph – University of Leeds

The Common Good: Ethics and Rights in Cyber Security
Principal Investigator: Professor James Connelly – University of Hull

Nuclear Ethics and Global Security: Reforming the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime
Principal Investigator: Professor Nicholas Wheeler – University of Birmingham

Digital Citizenship and Surveillance Society: UK State-Media-Citizen Relations after the Snowden Leaks
Principal Investigator: Dr Arne Hintz – Cardiff University

Digital Wildfire: (Mis)information flows, propagation and responsible governance
Principal Investigator: Dr Marina Jirotka – University of Oxford

For more information on the research being carried out within this partnership, see the project website: Ethics and Rights in a Security Context

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