Chapter 9: Legitimacy and Governance Challenges
The Political Economy of the Investment Treaty Regime. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (2017)
82 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2017 Last revised: 30 Nov 2017
Date Written: July 16, 2017
Investment treaties are some of the most controversial yet least understood instruments of global economic governance. Public interest in international investment arbitration is growing, and some developed and developing countries are beginning to revisit their investment treaty policies. The Political Economy of the Investment Treaty Regime synthesizes and advances the growing literature on this subject by integrating legal, economic, and political perspectives. Based on an analysis of the substantive and procedural rights conferred by investment treaties, it asks four basic questions. What are the costs and benefits of investment treaties for investors, states, and other stakeholders? Why did developed and developing countries sign the treaties? Why should private arbitrators be allowed to review public regulations passed by states? And what is the relationship between the investment treaty regime and the broader regime complex that governs international investment? Through a concise yet comprehensive analysis this book fills in some of the many ‘blind spots’ of academics from different disciplines.
This final chapter of the book outlines the legitimacy and governance challenges facing the investment treaty regime. The first section considers the impact of investment treaties on national governance. In particular, it assesses criticisms that investment treaties unduly fetter democratic decision-making and discourage states from regulating in the public interest. The second section examines the legitimacy of investment treaty arbitration – the regime feature that has come under closest scrutiny over the last decade. It assesses debates about transparency and consistency in investment treaty arbitration, its impact on the broader investment regime complex, the selection, identity, and alleged biases of arbitrators, as well as the lack of investor obligations.
Keywords: investment treaties, international arbitration, foreign direct investment, regimes, international economic law, international business
JEL Classification: F14, F21, F23, F42, F53, F55
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