Gregory C. Shaffer and Tom Ginsburg, The Empirical Turn in International Legal Scholarship, 106 Am. J. Int'l Law 1 (2012).
This article presents and assesses a new wave of empirical research on international law. Recent scholarship has moved away from theoretical debates over whether international law “matters,” and focuses instead on exploring the conditions under which international law is created and produces effects. As this empirical research program has matured, it has allowed for new, mid-level theorizing that we call “conditional international law theory.”