Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Schultz: International Arbitration Scholarship: Forms, Determinants, Evolution

Thomas Schultz (King's College London – Law) has posted International Arbitration Scholarship: Forms, Determinants, Evolution (in Evolution of International Arbitration, Stavros Brekoulakis, Julian Lew, & Loukas Mistelis eds., forthcoming). Here's the abstract:

We have spilled much ink, we as a community, in our discussion of international arbitration. Much of it we have used on specific technical aspects of the laws and rules that apply to it, or that apply in it. A great deal too has gone to how good procedures are to be conducted. And increasingly, of late, we have written on how arbitration works beyond the rules – the rules which reflect some (but only some) of its true operations. We have taken interest in its broader social and economic significance. We are, now and then, zooming out from the bolts and screws and consider it at the level of an entire system. Engagements with problems that truly vex – truly vex beyond offering legal conundrums or presenting complicated logistical puzzles – no longer stand out today as so many sore thumbs. Or much less so.

Why? And where is it going? Why and how is international arbitration scholarship evolving? What are, to start with, its forms today? And why did we scholars make it what it is? Surely there is something – or rather many somethings – that determine what we write. What could they be?

The chapter moves in four parts. I begin with an overview of different forms of arbitration scholarship, what they seek to achieve and how, what from of thinking they correspond to and how they progress, all of this in quite general terms. This part ends with an impressionist account of the evolution of arbitration scholarship over the last 30 years.

With Part II, I turn to what incentivises and constrains scholarship in the field. I first enter a general approach, which draws heavily on the concept of reasons-for-action, which I combine with basic law & economics tenets. I further introduce a classic distinction between two types of such reasons-for-action.

In Part III, I apply this general approach to identify ways in which the pursuit of other people’s interests may determine what kind of arbitration scholarship we produce. In Part IV, the focus shifts, within the same approach, to the advancement of our own interests when we write on arbitration.