Israeli Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCS) in Defence against Terrorism

Israeli Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCS) in Defence against Terrorism

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The easiest way to do this is to limit the scope of the primary research both conceptually and geographically – so rather than covering PMSCs in general across Israel, I’d suggest thinking about identifying a particular organization or organizations to which you might have good access, and examining the effectiveness of a particular CT project or initiative that they have undertaken. You might well want to generalize from the outcomes of the primary research, but focussing the primary research along these lines will help to keep the dissertation manageable.

Doing this will help you to turn the proposal into a defined project rather than a general survey, to define the field for your literature search, establish the format of the primary research and put you in a better position to complete the ethics form.

A further point from the proposal concerns the studies by Shores, Hammes and Cusumano in section 6. Is it your intention to replicate or adapt their surveys in an Israeli context and compare and contrast results – that could be a useful way of developing the methodology, but I am not sure if that is exactly what you intend.

With regard to the ethics form, If you’ve had a chance to log on to the site you’ll see that it is quite a detailed process. Some people find it a bit tiresome, but the material included often becomes the basis of the methodology chapter, and the on-line form a good way of developing this element. You can take your time filling it out, going back to the form to edit and save until you’re ready to submit it.

The questions raised by the form will be familiar to you from the research methods module, and need to be considered carefully. Some points in particular to clarify:

Рyour plan to conduct primary research with witnesses at incident scenes is _highly_ problematic for fairly obvious reasons Рthe university ethics panel is extremely cautious and it is very unlikely that you will receive clearance for this aspect of the proposal
– have you got permission in place from relevant named authorities within both security and aid organizations, & on what (if any) conditions? written permissions will need to be obtained and uploaded to the online site.
– have you considered issues of anonymity and/or confidentiality for participants?
– more generally, if the interests of participants are potentially put at risk by participation (which could very much be a concern with Iraqi nationals), this needs to be acknowledged & mitigated.

When dealing with terrorism in particular it is an unfortunate fact of our times that ethical issue do have to de addressed carefully and comprehensively!

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