Arbitration Literature

Thomas Schultz and Niccolò Ridi (University of Liverpool)

New paper by Director of CIDS Research, Thomas Schultz, and co-author, Niccolò Ridi, on Arbitration Literature, in Thomas Schultz and Federico Ortino (eds), Oxford Handbook of International Arbitration, OUP 2019 (Forthcoming)

Abstract: International arbitration entertains a particular relationship with its own literature – the written knowledge in the field and about the field. This relationship is marked by one big mix, be it in the form of competition or cooperation, of practitioners who use it, legal entrepreneurs who make and change it, and scholars who analyse it, with more or less permanent alternations and confusions of these roles. Of course, Schrödinger’s Cat-type problems make some of this intertwinement inevitable: Indeed, can one really analyse it without, by the same token, changing it by giving a certain representation of it? Can one use it without analysing it and, by using it, changing it? Can one make it without, in sense, using it and at least pretending to analyse it? Not really. But in arbitration, this relationship (call it, quite normatively, expertise-enhancing cross-fertilisation or rather mind-narrowing dogmatic collusion, as you will) has a strength that would probably appear curious, and worth investigating, in many other fields in which public interests are at stake.

This is what this chapter starts doing. It offers to put the starting point of this investigation in knowledge, empirically acquired and then abstractly, intuitively typologized. The chapter moves in two main parts. The first asks questions such as: What sort of literature has the field produced? By whom and citing whom? On what topics? Which journals structure the field, which landmark books have guided it? Who are, citation-wise, the great, impactful authors of international arbitration, and how do they cluster in groups? We seek to answer these questions with a scientometric analysis. The second part of the chapter then offers a typology of the main types of literature that fuel the field, and suggests hopefully credible hypotheses about the factors that determine what gets written, by whom, and where.

Read the paper