Dr Taylor St John

Dr Taylor St John

Lecturer

Researcher profile

Phone
+44 (0)1334 46 1925
Email
taylor.stjohn@st-andrews.ac.uk

 

Biography

Dr Taylor St John joined the School of International Relations as a Lecturer in 2018. Before joining the School, she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at PluriCourts, University of Oslo, and continues to collaborate on the LEGINVEST and COPIID projects there.

Previously, Dr St John was a Fellow in International Political Economy at the London School of Economics. She earned her DPhil (PhD) from the University of Oxford in 2015.

Teaching

Dr St John is on leave from August 2021-2022.
She convenes and teaches IR3076 Political Economy of Trade and Investment as well as IR4573 Global Economic Governance: Visions and Realities.

The sub-Honours lectures she gives depend on the year but have included IR1005 (Wealth & Poverty), IR1006 (Institutions & Diplomacy), and IR2005 (Liberalism & Institutionalism). She supervises IR4099 and IR5099 students as well as individual directed readings for LC5026 Legal and Constitutional Studies students on international economic law topics.   

Research areas

Dr St John is interested in global economic governance and economic diplomacy. Her research to date has focused on how foreign investors and states resolve disputes. Her monograph, The Rise of Investor–State Arbitration: Politics, Law, and Unintended Consequences, traced the growth of this form of arbitration from the 1950s to the 1990s. It co-won the International Political Economy Best Book Award from the International Studies Association. Most of the underlying archival documents are available for download from the Qualitative Data Repository here.

At the moment, she is researching processes to reform investor–state arbitration, which is also called ISDS. (Curious about what ISDS is? This BBC Radio 4 documentary, Company v Country, provides a good introduction, and Season 2, Episode 2 of The Arbitration Station takes on "founding myths" of investor-state arbitration.)

With Anthea Roberts, she writes a series of blogs on the ISDS reform negotiations taking place within United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Working Group III, available here on EJIL Talk! website. Some of these blogs, for instance this one envisioning a flexible framework, or this co-authored paper for the ISDS Academic Forum, focus on institutional design issues. She is particularly interested in questions involving institutional design, international organisations, and multilateralism; within international relations theory, she is especially interested in historical institutionalism and complexity theory. 

Dr St John is also interested in the role of individuals within global economic governance (and IR theory); she and Geoffrey Gertz are currently working on a project investigating three individuals and the outsize roles they played in founding the private sector arms of the World Bank. 

As part of the LEGINVEST project funded by the Norwegian Research Council, she is collaborating with Tarald Laudal Berge on research into national investment laws (or you can listen to this research being presented).  

Selected publications

 

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