Competition and Cooperation in International Commercial Arbitration: The Birth of a Transnational Legal Profession

Law & Society Review 51(4):790-824, December 2017 

46 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2019

See all articles by Florian Grisel

Florian Grisel

King's College London; CNRS Paris-Nanterre

Date Written: July 6, 2017

Abstract

This paper revisits the sociology of international commercial arbitration on the basis of unexploited archives and data. This material casts new light on the competition between “grand old men” and “young technocrats” in the 1980s and 1990s, a theme that has structured the analysis of international commercial arbitration since the pioneering work of Yves Dezalay and Bryant G. Garth (Dealing in Virtue). In contrast, the data show that the crucial transformative period actually took place between the 1950s and 1970s, when a relatively well-defined group of individuals emerged as the leading arbitrators at the International Chamber of Commerce. These individuals – the “secant marginals” – succeeded in constructing a cooperative interface (rather than competition) between otherwise separate legal systems and professions. In doing so, they created the conditions necessary for the emergence of a new transnational legal profession. At a more general level, the article proposes an alternative narrative of globalization, wherein actors operating at the intersection of various systems, create new arenas of governance on the basis of inter-system cooperation.

Suggested Citation

Grisel, Florian, Competition and Cooperation in International Commercial Arbitration: The Birth of a Transnational Legal Profession (July 6, 2017). Law & Society Review 51(4):790-824, December 2017 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3470275

Florian Grisel (Contact Author)

King's College London ( email )

Strand
London, England WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

CNRS Paris-Nanterre ( email )

200 avenue de la république
Nanterre
France

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