How to do What We do When We do it? On Methods in Human Rights Research

This seminar is a part of the NCHR 30th Anniversary.

Photography: UiO

Theme of the seminar

International human rights inform public discourses, legal developments, social movement action and international relationships in significant ways. All these spaces for human rights in practice, require good knowledge about the material substance, operation and functioning of human rights as moral and legal norms. Human rights research constructs knowledge about the uses, and the justification, emergence and legitimacy of human rights. The quality and robustness of this knowledge relies on the quality of human rights research, and quality depends on methodological rigor and good use of methods. Methodological reflection also requires critical approaches to existing theories, norms and values inherent in research as a process in search of new evidence, insights and research-based facts.

An international book project on human rights methods

This seminar will discuss methodological issues in scholarly research on human rights. It takes its point of departure in an international book project that has produced a volume on human rights methods – Research Methods in Human Rights A Handbook to be published in Ed Elgars’ Handbook of Research Methods in Law series in May (2017). The book is edited by Bård A. Andreassen, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo, Hans-Otto Sano at the Danish Institute for Human Rights and Siobhán McInerney-Lankford at the World Bank.

In the seminar, the project will be presented and selected authors will give short introductions to their chapters, followed by discussions. The seminar is particularly welcoming human rights researchers and PhD and MA students.

From the book’s blurb:

“Methodological discussion has largely been neglected in human rights research, with legal scholars in particular tending to address research methods and methodological reflection implicitly rather than explicitly. This book advances thinking on human rights methodology, offering instruction and guidance on the methodological approaches to human rights research.

Seeking to bridge the methodological deficit often compounded by the interdisciplinary nature of human rights research, contributions by leading scholars in a range of evolving fields, provide an up-to-date assessment of human rights methods. The various chapters apply these methods to different substantive areas including discrimination, the right to food, the right to water, public health and gender. This book gives a comprehensive treatment of disciplinary approaches, discusses methodological options and provides advice on how best to conduct human rights research in the crossroads of different academic disciplines.”


See the full programme here 

Convenor Professor Bård Anders Andreassen

We will serve a light lunch after the seminar, so please register here:

Two seminars in addition to this one, are arranged in connection with the anniversary, you can read about them here:

The Norwegian Centre for Human Rights Anniversary Seminar

Seminar: The Idea of Human Rights under Pressure

Published Mar. 14, 2017 10:21 AM - Last modified Mar. 30, 2017 4:12 PM