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19 Ohio St. J. on Disp. Resol. 1 (2003)


With the end of the Cold War and the emergence of the United States as the world's only superpower, we have heard expressions of concern about the great weight of American influence in so many aspects of international life. One area of concern is America's influence on the law and processes of international dispute resolution (IDR). Of all the practice areas in IDR, practitioners and scholars of international arbitration have had the most detailed discussions on this theme to date. Their greatest worry is the growing tendency toward American litigation style in a process that is neither American nor litigation. That discussion inspired the editors of the Journal on Dispute Resolution to investigate further into complaints about "Americanization" of IDR. The Journal held a one-day symposium bringing together prominent practitioners and scholars from the United States and abroad to discuss American influence on IDR. At the end of the day, the conclusions were more positive than the working hypothesis going into to the symposium. The United States is having a major impact on IDR. Yet, American influence, while negative in some respects, is also credited in spurring on some of the huge strides of the last decade.

The conclusion of the symposium is that despite negative aspects of American influence, positive developments have occurred as well. American lawyers are energetic, competitive, creative and trained for problem solving. They have used these attributes to advance IDR. As participants in dispute resolution adapt to these American attributes in the shared fora of international dispute resolution, and as they study law in ever greater numbers in American law schools, they will use the methods promoted by Americans to bring their own preferences for rules and procedures to the international arena. The result could well be a convergence of the best methods for effective and peaceful settlement of all international disputes.


Originally published in Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution. Reprinted with permission.



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