Working with Governmental Agencies Parts I & II

One of the papers from part II was pulled this morning so I’ve combined parts I and II of this panel into one podcast.

Faith Nibbs (S Methodist U) PowerPoint

Violent Intent Modeling: Incorporating Cultural Knowledge into the Analytical Process
While culture has a significant effect on the appropriate interpretation of textual data, the incorporation of cultural considerations into data transformations has not been systematic. Recognizing that the successful prevention of terrorist activities could hinge on the knowledge of the subcultures, Anthropologist and DHS intern Faith Nibbs has been addressing the need to incorporate cultural knowledge into the analytical process. In this presentation she will present how cultural ideology is being used to understand how the rhetoric of group leaders influences the likelihood of their constituents to engage in violent or radicalized behavior, and how violent intent modeling can benefit from understanding that process.

For an extended version of Faith’s presented paper please click here.

Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban (Rhode Island Coll)

Anthropology and Ethics in America’s Imperial Age
As we debate our role and ethical responsibilities in America’s imperial age, we must address the following questions: 1) What are the key philosophical, moral, and ethical considerations for anthropologists working for national security agencies? 2) What does “do no harm” mean if “the people studied” are the “enemy?” 3) Are the AAA/SfAA Codes of Ethics sufficient for vigorous debate of issues of engagement with military and intelligence agencies? 4) How is ethical responsibility located if anthropologists are a part of teams working on intelligence or military projects? 5) How can the principle of openness and disclosure in research be fulfilled if anthropologists are part of non-transparent projects?

Brian Selmeski (Air Force Culture & Language Ctr, Air U)

Fitting Round Pegs into Square Holes: Civil Servant-Anthropologists and Dual Professional Theory
Much has been written lately regarding the appropriateness of anthropologists working in the security sector. This paper reframes the discussion by treating such individuals as part of a broader category: civil servant-anthropologists. It applies theories of professionalism, particularly the concept of “dual professionals” to further elucidate the nature of these relationships and suggest how they are best managed. This identifies dual professionals’ twin expectations, ethics and governance systems (civil service and anthropological) as the key structuring factors. After highlighting points of agreement and contradiction between the professions, the paper concludes by suggesting how the most serious dilemmas might be reconciled.

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Session took place in Memphis, TN at the 68th Annual Meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology in March 2008.

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