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In academic human rights research, especially legal human rights research, little attention tends to be devoted to questions of methodology. One reason for this may be that human rights scholars often are (former) human rights activists. Dispensing with methodological niceties enables them to engage in wishful thinking and to come up with the conclusions they were hoping to find in the first place. Furthermore, although much emphasis continues to be put on the need to carry out human rights research from a multidisciplinary perspective, the methods to be applied in such research remain far from clear.
Which criteria can be identified to qualify a piece of human rights research as a methodologically sound piece of work? Are there aspects and considerations that are typical for human rights research? What are good practices in human rights research? The book addresses these questions from the perspective of different scholarly fields relevant for human rights research: law (including international law and criminal law); social sciences (including criminology, political science, comparative politics, international relations and anthropology); and philosophy and history (the humanities).
This book is essential reading for any PhD candidate embarking on a dissertation in the field of human rights and any human rights scholar wishing to critically reflect on the quality of her/his own methods of work.