Human rights are a natural subject for interdisciplinary and multimethod research but it is not clear whether the emerging scholarship fully lives up to its demands. This chapter asks: how are pluralistic approaches best advanced in research? How can we use different disciplines in framing research questions and choosing methods? And, what do we mean by a multimethod approach? In answering these questions, this chapter discusses different streams of interdisciplinary human rights research, identifies cross-cutting faultlines, and offers a multimethod framework that includes methods from the social sciences, humanities (including law and philosophy) and natural sciences.
Rewriting Human Rights Decisions
In Joslin v New Zealand (2002), the UN Human Rights Committee rejected the claim that marriage equality could be grounded in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Some scholars have argued that emerging state practice and a proper understanding of the drafting of the Convention now justify the argument for marriage equality. However, this chapter argues that a project of human rights integration reveals, paradoxically, additional legal challenges for such an interpretation. Taking a departure point in relevant regional and national judgments, the chapter sets out a three-tiered cumulative argument for a right to same-sex marriage in article 23(2) of the ICCPR. The crux of the argument is that the Committee will only be able to recognise marriage equality when the ordinary meaning of ‘marriage’ becomes ambiguous as to the gender identity of spouses.