International Investment Law and History
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International Investment Law and History

Edited by Stephan W. Schill, Christian J. Tams and Rainer Hofmann

Historiographical approaches in international investment law scholarship are becoming ever more important. This insightful book combines perspectives from a range of expert international law scholars who explore ways in which using a broad variety of methods in historical research can lead to a better understanding of international investment law.
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Chapter 2: Narrating narratives of international investment law: History and epistemic forces

Andreas Kulick


Telling the history of something requires choosing a perspective. This perspective is the lens through which we look at a specific topic or field. Thus, one cannot but present such history from certain perspectives. Once accounts of events, facts or material are being presented from a certain perspective, they turn into narratives. This chapter seeks to illustrate how certain stakeholders in the investment community present certain narratives of the history of international investment law, asserting – sometimes deliberately, sometimes inadvertently – the narratives’ objectivity and thereby shaping certain perceptions of the history according to their view on the present and future of the field. Insights from historiography, the philosophy of language and modern linguistics inform such inquiry. It is the chapter’s aim to demonstrate how certain epistemic communities employ such narratives and thereby to enhance investment law scholars’ and practitioners’ awareness vis-à-vis the constructive character of these narratives.

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