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Institut für Politikwissenschaft

Political Economy of International Investment Treaty Reform

The international investment treaty regime is currently undergoing a period of turbulence. While governments are increasingly terminating and renegotiating bilateral investment treaties, different private actors and organizations are voicing concerns over the transparency and legitimacy of the system that has provided investors unprecedented rights over states. This project investigates the ongoing dynamics of the global economic governance regime. It focuses on the different drivers and strategies employed by governments to push for their preferences in investment treaty negotiations, especially by those that were in a weaker negotiating position at the onset of the regime. While a range of reform options are available for states seeking to adjust the terms of investment treaties vis-a-vis the treaty partners and foreign investors, in practice, the range of options varies depending on how limited by domestic and international constraints the governments are. Although the investment treaty regime has unique characteristics as an exceptionally unequal system, the project also provides insights into the wider trends in backlash against globalization and the dynamics of international cooperation.