The Political Economy of Commercial Arbitration: The Corporatization of U.S. Arbitration Law
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Arbitration is not just about economic and business efficiency, as its advocates argue, reducing the costs and delays associated with litigation. As I shall illustrate in this thesis, corporations have used arbitration reform as a means of restructuring the regulatory state in ways that suit their interests. Drawing on the legislative history of the Federal Arbitration Act, as well as on documents detailing the rise of the corporate arbitration lobby, I show how corporations have used arbitration reform as a means of enacting conservative political change by non-political means. This corporate legal mobilization is animated by a libertarian conception of private law in which government plays a minimal role in the oversight of business disputes. The dissertation traces the development of this corporate arbitration movement and shows how it is actively reshaping arbitration law to protect the freedom of enterprise from outward challenge or encroachment, with important implications for the states ability to monitor and govern corporate behavior.