DSPVP05 Social Science Methods in Law

Faculty of Law
Spring 2023
Extent and Intensity
0/0/0. 2 credit(s). Type of Completion: z (credit).
Taught in person.
Mgr. Lukáš Hamřík, Ph.D. (seminar tutor)
JUDr. Ondřej Kadlec, J.D., MPhil, Ph.D. (seminar tutor)
prof. JUDr. David Kosař, Ph.D., LL.M., J. S. D. (seminar tutor)
Mgr. Bc. Alžbeta Králová, Ph.D. (seminar tutor)
Mgr. et Mgr. Katarína Šipulová, Ph.D., MSt (seminar tutor)
PD Dr. Attila Vincze, LL.M. (seminar tutor)
doc. JUDr. PhDr. Robert Zbíral, Ph.D. (seminar tutor)
Guaranteed by
prof. JUDr. David Kosař, Ph.D., LL.M., J. S. D.
Faculty of Law
Contact Person: Andrea Kalivodová, DiS.
Supplier department: Judicial Studies Institute – Faculty of Law
Mon 20. 2. to Fri 19. 5. each odd Tuesday 14:00–15:40 400
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 36 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
The aim of the course is to introduce the application of social sciences methods in legal academic writing. The courses addresses these issues: What are the questions solved by the legal science? How to answer them? How to conduct an empirical research in law? The course follows two aims: First, to broaden the knowledge of students about various approaches to legal research and second, to prepare them for their work on dissertation theses, offering them a forum for the dissertation project presentation. It introduces students into principles of legal research, argumentation, and rules of academic scholarship applicable in their dissertation and other academic scholarly works. It shows how to combine classic doctrinal and normative approaches to law with empirical research, while presenting a more sophisticated research designs (case study, comparative study), and most commonly used qualitative and quantitative methods (experiment, structured interview, content analysis, survey, experiment, etc.). The students are expected to learn how to create a research design, set research questions or hypotheses, how to proceed with their verification, how to process the data and identify suitable methods for a given research. The second part of the course enables the students to try out new skills when presenting their own dissertation projects. Each student works with a mentor who consults her or his research project. The student subsequently present their dissertation project in individual seminars. The workshop part of the course is concluded by individual consultations or focus groups.
Learning outcomes
The students will acquire skills allowing them: - to set and answer research question and to set and verify hypothesis - to draft a suitable research design - to differentiate between various research methods - to analyse both qualitative and quantitative data - to present research proposal, its methodology and to react on feedback - to be open to law-related disciplines
  • The course consists of two blocks: the first one is based on interactive lectures and in the second one individual doctoral students will be given an opportunity to present and discuss their dissertation projects. The first part of the course (i.e. interactive lectures) deals with topics such as research in law, plurality of approaches for studying law, empirical legal research - quantitative methods, empirical legal research – conducting interviews and their interpretation, interdisciplinarity in law, combining doctrinal approach with quantitative and qualitative methods, and comparison in law – how to select cases for case-study research design. Lectures will be followed by interactive seminars allowing students to present their dissertation projects. Subsequently, presented projects will be discussed and revised by their authors.
  • zvláštní číslo Jurisprudence na téma "Výzkum v právu" (6/2016)
  • A von Bogdandy, 'National Legal Scholarship in the European Legal Area —A Manifesto' (2012) 10 International Journal of Constitutional Law 626
  • FEARON, J. – LAITIN, D. Integrating Qualitative and Quantitative Methods. In: Box-Steffensmeier, J. – Brady, H. – Collier, D. (eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Political Methodology. Oxford 2008
  • HIRSCHL, R. The Question of Case Selection in Comparative Constitutional Law. American Journal of Comparative Law, 2005
  • erspektiven der Rechtswissenschaft in Deutschland. Situation, Analysen, Empfehlungen, Hamburg, 2012 (resp. Prospects of Legal Scholarship in Germany: Current Situation, Analyses, Recommendations, Hamburg, 2012 a navazující diskusi na http://verfassungsb
  • Chris McCrudden, ‘Legal Research and the Social Sciences’ (2006) 122 Law Quarterly Review 632
  • GEORGE, A. – BENNET, A. Case studies and theory development in the social sciences. Cambridge 2005
  • KING, G. – KEOHANE, R. – VERBA, S. Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research. Princeton 1994
  • SMITS, J. The Mind and Method of the Legal Academic. Cheltenham 2012
  • ZBÍRAL, R. Které české zákony jsou nejdůležitější? Hledání objektivních metod výběru. Správní právo, 2015, č. 4-5, str. 248-270 (Legislativní příloha)
  • Bartošek, Jan, a Jan Broulík. 2015. Ekonomický přístup k právu. C. H. Beck
  • GOERTZ, G. – MAHONEY, J. A Tale of Two Cultures: Qualitative and Quantitative Research in the Social Sciences. Princeton, NJ, 2012
  • AALBERTS T. E. The Politics of International Law and the Perils and Promises of Interdisciplinarity. Leiden Journal of International Law, sv. 26, č. 3, 2013, pp. 503–508
Teaching methods
lectures, seminars, roundtables, case studies, reaction papers, external lectures
Assessment methods
Credit will be given on fulfillment of: 1) participation at the lectures and seminars, 2) presentation of the dissertation project, and 3) incorporating the feedback from the mentor and other colleagues and submission of the revised version of the dissertation project.
Language of instruction
Further Comments
Study Materials
The course is taught once in two years.
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2022.
  • Enrolment Statistics (recent)
  • Permalink: https://is.muni.cz/course/law/spring2023/DSPVP05