World Peace and International Investment - the Role of Investment Treaty Arbitration

PluriCourts seminar with Ole Kristian Fauchald.

There is a long-standing claim and ambition in international law that the juridical settlement of international disputes can and does provide an alternative and more peaceful remedy for conflicts arising between states. In the context of international investment law, claims about the positive benefits that can result from the peaceful settlement of foreign investment disputes is frequently framed as a question about the extent to which these disputes may serve to reduce tensions between states. The idea is that by giving foreign investors direct access to arbitration against states hosting their investments, investment treaty arbitration bypasses the necessity of diplomatic espousal and may diffuse tensions or hostilities that might otherwise arise between home states and host states. In this sense, investment treaty arbitration may remove the power politics and threats of military escalation that were a common feature of foreign investment disputes in the era of ‘gunboat diplomacy.’

The chapter intends to discuss and analyze three claims about the possible ways in which international investment law and the use of investment treaty arbitration may be capable of contributing to both negative and positive peace through the depolitization of high policy disputes: (claim 1) investment treaty arbitration contributes to peace by providing direct access to arbitration for disputes that have historically led to tensions between states; (claim 2) investment treaty arbitration contributes to peace by delegating  particularly sensitive foreign investment disputes to neutral third party adjudicators that might otherwise give rise to hostilities or destabilize host states or regions; and (claim 3) investment treaty arbitration contributes to peacebuilding in post-conflict situations by providing an orderly rule of law-based process for resolving disputes between foreign investors and hosts states.


PluriCourt Seminars are a forum for pluridisciplinary discussion of core issues relating to international courts and tribunals. PluriCourts scholars or invited speakers present new and ongoing research or comment on current questions. The seminars are open to everyone.

Tags: Investment
Published Feb. 23, 2018 1:00 PM - Last modified July 29, 2018 9:41 PM