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BRISMES Code of Conduct


This Code of Conduct underpins our commitment to develop an inclusive community dedicated to open scholarly exchange and the dissemination of knowledge in Middle East Studies. The Code should not be construed as compromising in any way our commitment to the principles of academic freedom, defined by UNESCO as ‘the right, without constriction by prescribed doctrine, to freedom of teaching and discussion, freedom in carrying out research and disseminating and publishing the results thereof, freedom to express freely [your] opinion about the institution or system in which [you] work, freedom from institutional censorship and freedom to participate in professional or representative academic bodies.’

This Code applies to the following individuals:

  1. All BRISMES members, including trustees and officers in the course of BRISMES activities and business;
  2. Those employed to undertake work for BRISMES, whether directly employed or not by BRISMES;
  3. Those attending BRISMES events and/or engaged in BRISMES activities and business, whether in person or on-line.

We expect all of the above to recognise their responsibilities and to:

  • Behave in a way that respects the rights and dignity of others.
  • Treat others fairly.
  • Display courtesy and good manners in every interaction appreciating that individuals have different styles and expectations.
  • Value differences in others and the contribution they make.
  • Participate in BRISMES business on a co-operative basis.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to upholding the values of equality, diversity and inclusion.

Everyone has the right to feel safe when participating in BRISMES events and/or business.

You should not discriminate against, bully or harass others on the basis of: cultural and role difference, including (but not exclusively) those involving age, disability, education, ethnicity, gender, language, national origin, political beliefs, race, religion, sexual orientation, marital or family status and socio-economic status. You should respect the knowledge, insight, experience and expertise of fellow members (regardless of career stage and length of membership), relevant third parties and members of the general public.
 

Bullying and harassment of any kind is completely unacceptable, and our community is an environment where prejudice and socially unacceptable behaviour are never tolerated.

We recognise bullying as offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient. Bullying does not need to be deliberate; someone may demonstrate bullying behaviour, which falls within the above definition, without intending it. Whatever form it takes, bullying is unwarranted and unwelcome, and can cause embarrassment, fear, humiliation or distress to an individual or group of individuals. Bullying often results from a misuse of individual power derived from status/position or physical strength and is usually, but not always, perpetrated by those who have power against those with less power as a result of structural inequalities, such as, women, people with disabilities, ethnic and/or racialised minorities and LGBTQ individuals. Bullying can also be a form of discrimination. Bullying and harassment are often closely linked, and may overlap, but they are legally distinct.

We recognise as harassment any unwelcome verbal or physical behaviour, including sexual advances, when the unwanted conduct has the purpose or effect of either violating another person's dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that person. Harassment does not need to be deliberate; someone may harass another person without intending to. In some situations, where the unwanted conduct is serious, a single incident may constitute harassment. In other situations, conduct may become harassment if it is repeated or sustained.
 
The following list provides examples of the types of behaviour which can amount to harassment, although the list is, by no means, exhaustive:

  • Unwelcome physical contact or physical interaction: This may range from unnecessary touching or brushing against another's body, physical assault, coercive sexual relations, physical threats, insulting or abusive behaviours or gestures. It may also encompass invading someone's "personal space" by standing very close to them where this is unnecessary.
  • Unwelcome verbal conduct: This may include the making of remarks and comments about appearance, lewd comments, sexual advances, innuendo and banter, the making or repetition of offensive or stereotyped comments, jokes or songs, the making of threats and the making of patronising comments.
  • Unwelcome written or visual interaction: This may include sending unwelcome emails, notes or pictures, and displaying or sending offensive material on any BRISMES social media/websites/blogs etc.

Harassment, bullying and victimisation of members, or by members by electronic methods
 
Given the current reliance upon electronic means of communication it should be specifically noted that harassment, bullying and victimisation by electronic means is also unacceptable. For example, this might involve:

  • Sending emails (with or without attachments) which breach the terms of this Code. 
  • Inappropriate copying of emails to parties not seen as relevant to the discussion, as a way of intimidating or inappropriately gaining leverage over other members, guests, volunteers or staff.

If you have any doubts or queries as to the contents or purpose of this Code, please contact the BRISMES Vice President or Secretary to discuss.

If you believe that any aspect of the Code has been breached in your interactions with BRISMES activities and business, please contact the BRISMES Anti-Bullying and Anti-Harassment Champion, Dr Paola Rivetti ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).