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Documentation freely accessible under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 license.
Files from Bundesarchiv Koblenz currently restricted pending permission by the archive
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Data Overview The archival documents in these files support and illustrate conclusions drawn in my monograph, The Rise of Investor-State Arbitration: Politics, Law, and Unintended Consequences (Oxford University Press, 2018). The monograph's central research question is: what explains the rise of investor–state arbitration? These documents primarily reflect conversations, meetings, and letters between national officials and international officials, between the years 1954 and 1994. Most documents are from four national archives: the German Federal Archives (Bundesarchiv Koblenz), the National Archives of the United Kingdom, the Swiss Federal Archives (Bundesarchiv Bern), and several archives of the United States government. Select documents are from the Institute of Contemporary History (Institut für Zeitgeschichte), from the National Archives of New Zealand, and from the World Bank Group Archives. Data Collection Strategy The data in this deposit only contains archival documents. I also interviewed thirty-six current and former officials in governments and international organizations involved with ISDS. These interviews provided deep background and help me triangulate findings that emerged from archival documents. Many of the interviews were conducted off the record, so to ensure consistency and total confidentiality, none of the interviews are cited in the book, nor do any interview materials appear in the data repository. That said, many of my interviewees were extraordinarily knowledgeable and were able to give me specific events or dates that I could use to direct my search for archival materials. A few even identified documents that they believed would be in archives or made suggestions about how a particular type of discussion might have been filed and archived. The vast majority of the documents in this deposit were photographed by me (Taylor St John) or Yannick Stiller. Yannick was my research assistant, employed first by the Department of International Relations, London School of Economics, where he was also an MSc student, and subsequently by PluriCourts, University of Oslo, between May 2016-May 2017. We read files in person in the American, British, German, and Swiss archives and took pictures of individual pages. Between late 2016-2018, I combined these pictures into the PDF documents that appear in this deposit. An alternate way of organizing this deposit would have been to make the raw .jpg files available, organized by the file folders in which they were found in archives. While this would have been much less time-consuming for me, and would lead to more data being available overall, I decided against this for two reasons: first, it would have been much harder for users of the data to make sense of the files, and second, it would have been more difficult to secure permission to deposit entire folders. The remainder of the documents in this deposit were acquired as follows. I scanned a small minority of the documents in this deposit and photocopied another small minority (primarily the legislative documents, including Fulbright’s papers, in the US Center for Legislative Archives). The documents from the New Zealand archives and from the Institut für Zeitgeschichte were scanned for me by archivists at those institutions and sent either via CD-rom (New Zealand) or via email (Institut für Zeitgeschichte). My requests for documents were often not successful; for example, requests to the Australian government to declassify documents related to ICSID were denied due to pending litigation, and requests to the World Bank Group for documents often yielded substantially less disclosure than I had hoped.