Sunday, February 10, 2013

Baradaran, Findley, Nielson, & Sharman: Does International Law Matter?

Shima Baradaran (Brigham Young Univ. - Law), Michael Findley (Univ. of Texas - Government), Daniel Nielson (Brigham Young Univ. - Political Science), & J. C. Sharman (Griffith Univ. - Centre for Governance and Public Policy) have posted Does International Law Matter? (Minnesota Law Review, Vol. 97, p.743, 2013). Here's the abstract:
The importance of international law has grown in an increasingly global world. States and their citizens are interconnected and depend on each other to enforce and comply with international law to meet common goals. Despite the expanding presence of international law, the question that remains is whether international law matters. Do individuals comply with international law? And when they comply, do they comply because they fear penalties or because they desire to behave appropriately? This Article presents results from a randomized field experiment designed to investigate these questions. Major findings include that roughly one in seven international actors is willing to violate international law and the existence of penalties actually motivates some actors to break international law in greater numbers. In the first and largest global field experiment to date, this Article not only advances the scope of research methods generally, but also marks new ground by providing theoretical insights on the central questions of international law.