Introduction to Symposium: Experiments with Politicians: Ethics, Power, and the Boundaries of Political Science

Peter John*, Florian Foos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

This introduction sets out the context for this symposium, which is the discontent expressed by UK MPs and the Speaker of the House of Commons in March 2021 about a research project using e-mails from fictitious constituents to audit the responsiveness of legislators to constituent emails. The article reviews the research literature on experiments on politicians and summarises the debate in the academy about the ethical conduct of these randomised controlled trials. Contributors to the symposium defend and challenge approaches to carrying out these elite experiments, whether using fictitious identities, confederates, and/or partnerships with politicians, as well as refine a cost-benefit approach to the design of these studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-174
Number of pages6
JournalPolitical studies review
Volume20
Issue number2
Early online date21 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2022

Keywords

  • ethics
  • experiments
  • politicians

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