The scientific quality of law dissertations
MA Hervé Tijsen - Methods of Legal Research, research area 1
The topic of this research is how research presented in recent Dutch doctoral dissertations in law is accounted for. More specifically, the research offers an evaluative test of the methodological justification of the legal research presented against general methodological norms. The focus is on what A.D. de Groot refers to as the general purpose of research: "explicit, transferable 'knowledge' that can be captured in assertions " (De Groot, 1981, p. 19). A reliable assessment of assertions made by researchers starts with explicitly and openly accounting for logically arrived at methodological choices. De Groot calls this condition "a largely implicit 'code of honor' for publishing" (ibid., p. 27).
To answer the question how research is accounted for in recent Dutch doctoral dissertations in law the following three subquestions will be addressed:
- What general requirements apply to accounting for methodological choices in research?
- How are methodological choices accounted for in recent Dutch doctoral dissertations in law?
- In what ways does accounting for methodological choices in recent Dutch doctoral dissertations in law meet the general requirements that apply to accounting for methodological choices in research? And in what ways do the accounts given in the dissertations analysed not meet these requirements or to a lesser extent?