Marginals and Elites in International Arbitration

Oxford Handbook of International Arbitration, Forthcoming

30 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2019

See all articles by Florian Grisel

Florian Grisel

King's College London; CNRS Paris-Nanterre

Date Written: September 7, 2017


This chapter shed light on a field that has raised significant interest in recent years: the sociology of individuals who are routinely appointed as international arbitrators to settle the important business disputes that commonly arise in transnational settings. These individuals serve as the private judges of global business law, and their governance functions have grown together with the growth of international arbitration, which is now the preferred method for resolving these disputes. The private nature of these appointments and the creation of a closed group of elite arbitrators (sometimes described as a “mafia”) have raised important concerns within civil society.

This chapter builds upon prior research on the sociological evolution of international commercial arbitration [ICA] and extends it – on the basis of original data – to investor-state arbitration. The data referred to herein are drawn from an exhaustive review of the appointments of arbitrators at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes [ICSID] since 1972.

Suggested Citation

Grisel, Florian, Marginals and Elites in International Arbitration (September 7, 2017). Oxford Handbook of International Arbitration, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN:

Florian Grisel (Contact Author)

King's College London ( email )

London, England WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

CNRS Paris-Nanterre ( email )

200 avenue de la république

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