Mixed Methods in Constitutional Law: A Question-Driven Approach

Recent decades have witnessed an explosion of interest in multimethod research. It is partly a by-product of the rise of inter-disciplinarity but it is also a result of intra-disciplinarydevelopments, such as the demise of methodological ‘paradigm wars’ and the rise of computational approaches. Sited at the edge of law and politics, with material and symbolic functions, constitutional law is particularly ripe for the use of mixed methods. This paper argues, however, that constitutional law should not adopt a mixed method fetish through which different quantitative, qualitative and doctrinal methods are always combined in stringent ways. Rather it advocates an open and reflexive approach that is research-question driven and seeks to advance the field through methodological pluralism. Nonetheless, any concurrent, sequential or fused use of different methods in constitutional law requires a re-thinking of disciplinary competences, research ethics and institutional organisation.