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Research at St Andrews

Taylor St John


Taylor St John
Postal address:
School of International
Arts Building The Scores
St Andrews
United Kingdom


Direct phone: +44 (0)1334 461925

Research overview

Dr St John is interested in global economic governance and economic diplomacy. Her research to date has focused on how foreign investors and states resolve disputes. Her monograph, The Rise of Investor–State Arbitration: Politics, Law, and Unintended Consequences, traced the growth of this form of arbitration from the 1950s to the 1990s. It co-won the International Political Economy Best Book Award from the International Studies Association.

At the moment, she is researching processes to reform investor–state arbitration, which is also called ISDS. With Anthea Roberts, she writes a series of blogs on the ISDS reform negotiations taking place within United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Working Group III, available on EJIL Talk! website. Some of these blogs, for instance this one envisioning a flexible framework, or this co-authored paper for the ISDS Academic Forum, focus on institutional design issues. She is particularly interested in questions involving institutional design, international organisations, and multilateralism; within international relations theory, she is especially interested in historical institutionalism. 

Dr St John is also interested in the role of individuals within global economic governance (and IR theory); she and Geoffrey Gertz are currently working on a project investigating three individuals and the outsize roles they played in founding the private sector arms of the World Bank. 

As part of the LEGINVEST project funded by the Norwegian Research Council, she is collaborating with Tarald Laudal Berge on research into national investment laws. She also started a project examining different institutions for resolving investment disputes that arise in civil war contexts.

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