The Institute focuses its resources on generating new knowledge in international law, comparative public law and European Union law. It hopes to contribute to the further globalization of the discourse in these fields. It also seeks an intensification of exchanges with researchers and its cooperation partners as well as a dialogue with an audience beyond the immediate scholarly community in its areas of research. The MPIL Research Paper Series aims to make new scholarly work by the Institute’s research staff or scholars closely associated with the Institute available in a timely and un-bureaucratic manner, cost-free and to as wide an audience as possible. Through the series, the MPIL hopes to facilitate more intense scholarly communication and to encourage increased publication as well as the circulation of new research. Papers in the series consist of work that has been submitted for publication by members of the MPIL academic staff, by visiting researchers and speakers at the MPIL, or by other authors whose work has been accepted for publication in the ZaöRV/ Heidelberg Journal of International Law or another MPIL publication. They can be downloaded from the Social Science Research Network’s online platform and below.
In many disciplines, Western methods of conducting research are predominant.  Researchers are overwhelmingly taught Western methods of data collection and study. The increasing participation of indigenous peoples as researchers has brought increased attention to the lacuna in culturally-sensitive methods of data collection. Non-Western methods of data collection may not be the most accurate or relevant for research on non-Western societies. For example, " Hua Oranga " was created as a criterion for psychological evaluation in Māori populations, and is based on dimensions of mental health important to the Māori people – "taha wairua (the spiritual dimension), taha hinengaro (the mental dimension), taha tinana (the physical dimension), and taha whanau (the family dimension)".