Recasting ICSID's Legitimacy Debate: Towards a Goal-Based Empirical Agenda

22 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2012 Last revised: 12 Mar 2013

See all articles by Sergio Puig

Sergio Puig

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law

Date Written: September 28, 2012

Abstract

ICSID’s legitimacy “crisis” is invoked to refer to multiple shortcomings of this remarkably influential international organization. However, when assessing ICSID, different scholars usually employ different and pre-existing ideas of the institution’s origin and function. Regardless of whether scholars are critical or sympathetic towards the organization, the different conceptions are reinforced through the way in which ICSID is assessed, shaping particular, often erroneous, policy recommendations. This paper proposes an empirical agenda for assessing the effectiveness of ICSID It does so by unpacking the different goal-based claims relied by the organization’s leadership to externally defend its existence. This exercise reveals three different claims invoked throughout ICSID’s history concerned with specific outcomes: specialization of international dispute settlement, de-politicization of inter-State conflicts, and economic policy stabilization. The article argues that understanding the origin, function, and potential assessment of each of these three functional claims should inform the agenda of the empiricists cross-examining ICSID’s effectiveness. By adopting this goal-based approach, the article suggests, interdisciplinary scholarship could help international scholars move beyond an increasingly fragmented legitimacy debate.

Keywords: ICSID, Dispute Settlement, International Law, Investment Law, International Organizations

Suggested Citation

Puig, Sergio, Recasting ICSID's Legitimacy Debate: Towards a Goal-Based Empirical Agenda (September 28, 2012). Fordham International Law Journal, Vol. 36, 2012 (Forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2153992

Sergio Puig (Contact Author)

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States

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