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International arbitration has become a sprawling complex of phenomena, covering a rich variety of third party decision mechanisms and occurring in exotically different contexts. In every context, arbitration has been something of a maverick: more than a contract, different from adjudication; international. yet frequently non-state, and so on. Despite the fact that proponents of world government have proselytized for arbitration with almost religious zeal, international arbitration, functioning without state aid or interference, has been almost Bakuninesque in its individualism, yet frequently more efticient than the behemoth of bureaucracy of a modern state. Arbitration, of course, is not a res: it is no more than coordinated subjectivities in men's minds plus a certain pattern of human practice. Yet for those who have studied it, it has become something of a marvel, generating enthusiasm and loyalty and frequently culminating in popular movements aimed at securing its extension. Arbitration's utility cannot be gainsaid; the extent to which it should be permitted or encouraged in the international or any national arena is a complex problem, touching many jurisdictional, political and ultimately socially philosophical issues.
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