Methods of Human Rights Research: A Primer

A.P.M. Coomans*, M.T. Kamminga, F. Grünfeld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This article suggests that research in the field of human rights, especially when it is legal in nature, tends to devote surprisingly little attention to questions of methodology. This may be a result of the fact that human rights scholars often are (former) human rights activists. Dispensing with methodological constraints enables researchers to engage in wishful thinking and to reach the conclusions they were hoping to find in the first place. The article makes some suggestions for those who wish to avoid this pitfall, including carefully spelling out a research method, discussing which alternative methods have been rejected, and avoiding the label "emerging" human right.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-186
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Rights Quarterly
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


Dive into the research topics of 'Methods of Human Rights Research: A Primer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this