Mamolea Concludes Fellowship Exploring International Arbitration in Latin America

Andrei Mamolea, Assistant Professor of International Relations at Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, has just concluded a two-month stint as a visiting fellow at iCourts, the Danish National Research Foundation’s Centre of Excellence for International Courts at the University of Copenhagen.

At iCourts, Mamolea worked on several articles about international arbitration and adjudication in Latin America between 1881 and 1938 that seek to overturn some of the sweeping generalizations of earlier scholarship by highlighting the diversity of national and regional approaches, examining the circulation and development of legal practices, and explaining the relationship between politics and the law. The project also aims to explain the role of these approaches in the creation of the Permanent Court of International Justice.

The first article examines how political motivations shaped the Argentine, Mexican, and U.S. approach to international arbitration and adjudication in the three decades following the War of the Pacific. The second article examines Brazil’s approach to international courts between 1890 and 1920, arguing that, contrary to conventional wisdom, Brazil’s policy was marked by a high level of contingency on a variety of issues connected to the creation of international courts, such as equality in judicial representation, the nature of jurisdiction, and whether or not to coordinate with neighbors on such issues at international conferences. The third article also challenges conventional wisdom, this time about the Central American role in the creation and collapse of the Central American Court of Justice. Most accounts tend to focus on the United States, but Mamolea’s article sheds light on the Central American role in the court’s history. A fourth article explores the political motivations behind Argentina’s approach to international law during the presidency of Hipolito Yrigoyen, specifically focusing on the reasons for its hostile attitude toward the League of Nations and the Permanent Court of International Justice. His fifth and final article examines why no Inter-American Court of Justice and why so many attempts were made to establish such a court during the 1920s and 1930s despite the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that existed. The article argues that most of these projects benefited their proponents regardless of their success or failure.

For more information, visit iCourts’ website.

Andrei Mamolea is a historian of international law and politics, specializing in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His core research challenges the widespread notion that the United States was the driving force behind the development of international law during this formative period and shifts attention to the neglected but important role of Latin America and East-Central Europe. Prior to joining the Pardee School, Mamolea held fellowships at the University of Copenhagen, McGill University Faculty of Law, and the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History. To learn more about him, visit his Pardee School faculty profile.