Incorporating EU Citizens’ Perceptions of Law.
Within the CITIZENS-LAW project, we examine how to strengthen the rule of law in the European Union (EU) by studying society’s conceptions of law.
In the CITIZENS-LAW project, we study the social foundations of the rule of law. Do people know the law, recognize the law and use the law? To do this, we use various research methods, such as focus groups, surveys, a social media analysis and interviews based on photo diaries. The study is being conducted in three countries: The Netherlands, Denmark and Hungary. These research findings are being translated into a new “governance toolkit” to strengthen the rule of law in Europe.
The project is under the direction of Prof. dr. Marc Hertogh (University of Groningen) and the research is being conducted by three postdocs. Read here more about the postdoc projects. The project is funded by NWO and will run from November 2021 – November 2025.
There is a rule of law crisis in the European Union (EU). The current approach to ending this crisis emphasizes the legal institutions of the rule of law. But if we want the rule of law to really matter, we must look at the social foundations of the rule of law in addition to the legal foundations.
Although much research has been done on the legal aspects, the social foundations of the rule of law are still largely a black box. CITIZENS-LAW therefore uses innovative empirical-legal research to study societal conceptions of law in three different countries. Together with policymakers, NGOs and other civil society partners, we translate our research findings into new proposals to strengthen the rule of law in Europe.