Anthea Roberts, London School of Economics and Columbia Law School

Clash of Paradigms: Actors and Analogies Shaping the Investment Treaty System

Mon, 10/08/2012
4:30-6 PM, Kerstetter Room, Marx Hall
Event Category: 

Please join us for a LAPA Seminar with Anthea Roberts, Senior Lecturer in Law at the London School of Economics and Visiting Professor 2012-2013 at Columbia Law School, who will present "Clash of Paradigms: Actors and Analogies Shaping the Investment Treaty System."  Her commentator is Robert Keohane, Professor of International Affairs at Princeton.

As always, the LAPA format asks that seminar participants familiarize themselves with the paper in advance. The commentator will open the session by summarizing the main themes in the paper and presenting some topics for discussion. The author then has the right of first response before we open to the floor for questions. The seminar will end with a brief reception in the Kerstetter Room, giving everyone a chance to mingle and meet.

Professor Roberts writes:  "The investment treaty system is having an identity crisis. Some participants argue that it should be seen as a sub-field of public international law, while others view it as simply another form of international (commercial) arbitration. Some have argued that we should re-characterize the field as a form of public law, while others draw parallels with international human rights and trade law. What results is a clash of paradigms about how we should understand the system, which in turn leads to deep divisions on many of the most important issues within the field. This article critiques the most common paradigms for understanding the investment treaty system, arguing that each paradigm reveals certain aspects of the system whilst obscuring others. It explores how different paradigms suggest different analogies for resolving concrete problems, often leading to wildly different results. And it explains that this conflict replicates and reinforces a monumental tug of war between different actors who want to shape the system in their own interests."

Anthea Roberts is a Senior Lecturer at the London School of Economics and a Visiting Professor at Columbia Law School (2012-13) who specializes in public international law and investment treaty arbitration. Prior to joining the LSE, Anthea clerked for Chief Justice Gleeson at the High Court of Australia, interned for Judge Simma at the International Court of Justice, and worked as an Associate in the International Dispute Resolution Group at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York and London. Anthea has twice been awarded the Francis Deak Prize by the American Society of International Law for articles published in the American Journal of International Law. She is currently participating in the ILA Study Group on International Law in Domestic Courts and previously served as a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law, a Co-Chair of the ASIL Annual Meeting and the Rapporteur for the International Bar Association's Task Force on Extraterritorial Jurisdiction. She spent 2011-2012 as a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School.

Robert O. Keohane is Professor of International Affairs, Princeton University. He is the author of After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy (1984) and Power and Governance in a Partially Globalized World (2002). He is co-author (with Joseph S. Nye, Jr.) of Power and Interdependence (third edition 2001), and (with Gary King and Sidney Verba) of Designing Social Inquiry (1994). He has served as the editor of the journal International Organization and as president of the International Studies Association and the American Political Science Association. He won the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order, 1989, and the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science, 2005. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the National Academy of Sciences. He has received honorary degrees from the University of Aarhus, Denmark, and Science Po in Paris, and is the Harold Lasswell Fellow (2007-08) of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.