We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

Arbitration: A Very Short Introduction

Thomas Schultz and Thomas D. Grant

Publication Date - July 2021

ISBN: 9780198738749

144 pages
6.9 x 4.4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $11.95


Very Short Introductions: Brilliant, Sharp, Inspiring

Arbitration is a legal dispute resolution mechanism, alternative to courts. It provides binding decisions, enforceable around the world. It is where parties take their disputes when they have agreed that courts, for one reason or another, do not suit them - which happens more often than one might think. Some of the most politically sensitive disputes on the largest scale go to arbitration. Countries which need to settle their boundaries in areas of the oceans rich in oil, gas and other resources sometimes arbitrate, and much of the war in Sudan was eventually tied up with an arbitration. Investors who have staked billions of dollars in unstable developing countries rely on arbitration clauses to protect their investments. But also much smaller, everyday cases are routinely dealt with by arbitration - millions of consumers, whether they know it or not, enter into arbitration contracts when they conclude routine transactions. Even athletes get involved in arbitration cases of great notoriety, for instance when these relate to doping offences during the Olympic Games.

This Very Short Introduction explains what arbitration is, how it works, what parties who have agreed to go to arbitration should expect, the relationship between arbitration and the law, and the politics of arbitration. It also considers where the global system of arbitration is headed.

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.


  • Offers an engaging and accessible account of the main principles of arbitration
  • Draws on cases from around the world to illustrate the importance of arbitration in both national and personal disputes
  • Provides a succinct understanding of the business and political implications of the continuing rise of arbitration
  • Discusses the relationship between arbitration and the law
  • Part of the Very Short Introductions series - over ten million copies sold worldwide

About the Author(s)

Thomas Schultz is Professor of Law at King's College London, Professor of International Arbitration at the University of Geneva, Visiting Professor of International Law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, and Co-Director of the Geneva Centre for International Dispute Settlement. He is the author of four books on arbitration, including Transnational Legality: Stateless Law and International Arbitration (2014), and the editor-in-chief of the Journal of International Dispute Settlement.

Thomas D. Grant is a Senior Research Fellow of Wolfson College, University of Cambridge. He is the author of several books on public international law topics and a general editor of the Journal of International Dispute Settlement (OUP). International arbitration and dispute settlement are among his principal teaching areas. As a practicing lawyer, he has served as counsel or assistant counsel in a number of inter-State cases at the International Court of Justice, in investment arbitrations under ICSID rules and in ICC commercial arbitrations.

Table of Contents

    1. Where does arbitration come from?
    2. How does arbitration work?
    3. From financial crises to doping disputes: "I will see you in... arbitration!"
    4. Arbitration and the law
    5. The geopolitics of arbitration against governments
    6. Where is arbitration going?
    Further Reading