Conflict Research Society Ethics and Procedures

The Conflict Research Society (CRS) promotes research and knowledge exchange about conflict processes and non-violent cooperation across national and international contexts. It offers venues for presentations, debate and dialogue and aims for high standards in purpose, values and principles. Institutional ethics will be reflected in procedures and processes intended to deal with any need arising for problem solving in the course of CRS activities.


1. Complaints Handling

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction about standards of behaviour or delivery, actions taken or the lack of them. It is a criticism that both expects and warrants a reply with acknowledgement and/or resultant change. Examples include the following: concern registered from someone about the quality of programme delivery; concern from a member of the public or supporter about a particular outreach (as per website or lecture) approach or other action; concern about the behaviour of associated personnel. For a complaint to be handled, it must be about something for which CRS is directly responsible or is within our sphere of influence. Council needs to be informed, an appointed member from Council will confer with the Chair on whether a written apology or acknowledgment is to be made; and subsequent action undertaken and reported on. (Note: a complaint is different from general feedback, i.e. conference sessions were too long or rooms too small, which can be taken up for forward planning and borne in mind as participant preference) In the eventuality of a complaint within Council itself, this may be taken up with the Chair and President for discreet arbitration/mediation, or raised in the wider Council or Advisory Group for discussion and problem solving.


2. Conflict of Interest

Conflicts of interest arise when the interests of members of Council or Advisory Group are in competition with or incompatible with the interests of the CRS, in a way in which decisions are based on these external influences, rather than the best interests of the CRS. Concerns re: Conflict of Interest should be raised with Council in the spirit of transparency and trust for due deliberation and decision-making.


3. Equal Opportunities

The CRS is open to all individuals involved in and furthering conflict research, as per aims and objectives above, regardless of age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation. Sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic or otherwise offensive and inflammatory remarks and behaviour are not acceptable, and will be dealt when and as needed at CRS events. As conference is central to CRS planning, mobility issues and access as well as provision for hearing and sight needs will as a matter of course be checked through with venue partners for due consideration. Conference planning strives for gender balance in panels, presentations and speakers.


4. Risk Management Policy

Encompasses multiple operational areas, covering issues from the reputation and profile of the CRS to the prudent management of adequate funds. It covers Safeguarding Policy; Conflict of Interest Policy; the Management of Interns; Equal Opportunities; and Complaints Handling as above. The CRS will maintain responsible governance through careful recruitment to Council and compliance with laws and regulations. It will reduce operational risks through diligent planning and management of costs and partnerships. Appropriate insurance cover is a routine consideration with partners in charge of meeting venues. CRS will review on a regular basis its recruitment and planning processes, and use consultative planning within Council for consensus on operational decisions.


5. Safeguarding

CRS believes that everyone it interacts with has the right of protection from all forms of harm, abuse and exploitation. Any activity that contravenes this will not be tolerated. Careful event planning, as well as a culture of communications and collective oversight by CRS is in keeping with safeguarding as practice and policy.