2405 International Arbitration and Strategy
Mag.Dr. Simon Hartmann
Contact details
  • Type
  • Weekly hours
  • Language of instruction
09/21/21 to 09/27/21
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Subject(s) Master Programs
Day Date Time Room
Monday 10/04/21 03:00 PM - 07:00 PM D1.1.078
Monday 10/18/21 03:00 PM - 07:00 PM D1.1.078
Monday 11/29/21 03:00 PM - 07:00 PM Online-Einheit
Monday 12/06/21 03:00 PM - 07:00 PM Online-Einheit
Monday 12/13/21 03:00 PM - 07:00 PM Online-Einheit
Monday 12/20/21 03:00 PM - 07:00 PM Online-Einheit


In this course, we learn about international political risk and strategy of investors by studying publicly available investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) cases.

In the first part of the course, we start with an introduction to political risks and exposure of foreign investors to these risks. This is accompanied by in-depth discussion of the quantification and analysis of the risks.

In the second (and main) part of the course, we use real world cases of international arbitration to uncover details about firm strategy in response to political risks. Firms exposed to political risk frequently have relied on independent international arbitration courts to file lawsuits, if they perceive that their rights as investors were violated in a host country. Many of them have been settled, won or lost by foreign investors. The details about the events and the actors involved are to a large degree publicly available in legal documents provided by the arbitration courts. Based on inputs and a critical introduction of the benefits and dangers of international arbitration, we will study how foreign investors, stakeholders and public officials interact with each other and how this is costly but also offers strategic advantages to them.

The latter part is contextualized and discussed in more detail in the third and final part of the course. Together with a wider set of investor strategies in response to political risk, we discuss the varieties of firm strategies in response to political risks and investigate how international arbitration at times substitute and complement them. We close the course with a critical discussion of the implications of international arbitration for firm strategy.

Learning outcomes

  • A deep understanding of political risks in international business
  • Advanced analytical techniques and approaches to show the political risk exposure of foreign investors and overview of the strategic implications of these risks
  • A sound understanding of the role and inner workings of international arbitration in context of political risk
  • In depth understanding of the mechanisms of how exposure does translate into damage from analyzing real world case studies
  • Broad insights in critical role of international arbitration in investor strategy
  • A critical view of international arbitration as substitute or complement to the set of international strategies of foreign investors to manage political risks
  • A comprehensive overview of the role of law and legality in the area of international management

Attendance requirements

The course is held in "hybrid mode". There will be in-class session if COVID19 restrictions are relaxed and the university allows us to meet on campus again. The presence in the classrooms would be in predefined time slots (if possible) and will be use to work on the case studies.

As an alternative we use Zoom as the preferred platform to meet online and rely on learn@wu to detail the assignments and provide additional inputs and learning materials. You will get coaching by the course instructor, participate in discussions with you peers and you will be able to work on specific problems of your projects.

In any instance, we will share the outcomes of these sessions for all other students on the learn @ wu platform (slides, written notes, recorded presentations). All the required readings and inputs on the main topics will be provided by the instructor in lecturecasts (on learn @ wu) and live lectures on campus or via Zoom. There will be time slots for Q&As on these materials via group-meeting on Zoom. In addition, you will receive further reading material and links on learn at@wu

Teaching/learning method(s)

Teaching/learning method(s)

- Synchronous online lectures (via Zoom) combined with asynchronous lecturecasts

- Group analysis and presentation of cases (via Zoom or in class in rotation mode (if possible)

- Critical discussion of cases in peer groups (via Zoom or in class in rotation mode (if possible))

- Case study (main assignment developed on learn@wu and via Zoom)

- Discussion and Q&A via Zoom


Group assignments (51 %):

- Case preparation and presentation (discussion) = 16 %

- Case report = 35 %

Individual assignments (49 %):

- Essay : Arbitration and Strategy = 35 %

- Individual Peer Feedback  = 14 %

== 100 %

A pass requires at least 60 %

Availability of lecturer(s)

Email: Simon.
Via Zoom (via link - request of appointment via email) 

Last edited: 2021-05-12