Despite attempts at harmonization through treaty relations and State participation in multilateral organizations, the international arena is a composite of unsettled and unsettling structures. The volatility of global politics and discordant national perceptions of legitimate lawful conduct constitute a precarious, usually unsuitable, basis for an international rule of law. Domestic concepts of legality rarely serve as adequate instruments for molding the character of international relations. The irreducible principle of national sovereignty makes the world community resistant to the adoption of universal juridical standards and consecrates the fragmentation of national self-interest as the ultimate source of legality among nation-states. This article assesses the exemplary dispute resolution value and law-making capability of the international commercial arbitration process.
Thomas E. Carbonneau, America and Other National Variations on the Theme of International Commercial Arbitration, 18 Ga. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 143 (1988).