Unethical ethics? Applying research ethics in Uzbekistan

There are a number of serious ethical challenges and problems posed in conducting development research in a poor country. It is argued here that the best way to ensure that research is ethical is to apply three foundation principles. By focusing on self-determinism, non-malfeasance, and justice and beneficence, it is possible to avoid the risks of an unethical, pro-forma approach. This paper discusses the particular challenges of applying standard university guidelines on ethical research to conducting social research in Uzbekistan, where to fulfil all these guidelines would prevent the research from taking place. However, by applying the most basic ethical principles, it was possible to design an ethical research project.