SMU Law Review


The arbitration process is embedded in a much larger context than the four walls in which the arbitration occurs. Exploring and studying that context—including the arbitral institution, the arbitrators, each party, the arbitration process, and the broader cultural and political environment—inform what actually occurs and to what extent one party may have inherent advantages over the other. This article illustrates this contextual analysis in two diverse settings: domestic employment arbitrations and international trade arbitrations. These analyses reveal one party’s advantages over the other, which are explained in part by market and cultural forces in which these arbitrations are embedded. Interdisciplinary, empirical, and cross-cultural insights further complement these analyses.