Call for Papers: International Investment Treaties and National Governance
July 31, 2017
The Centre for International Law at the National University of Singapore is pleased to announce a call for papers for a workshop, entitled “International Investment Treaties and National Governance”, which shall take place on 16 -17 November 2017 in Singapore.
International investment treaties establish a preferential system for the protection of the property of foreign investors. Under these treaties, covered investors are granted substantive rights, which are independent (and often stronger) than those provided in domestic law. In addition, covered investors are given the option of enforcing these rights outside of the host state’s courts through international arbitration.
Investment treaties are often said to have two principal effects for the states which enter into them. First, it is asserted that investment treaties act to increase levels of foreign investment in host states. Second, it is said that investment treaties have a positive effect on governance. Out of their desire to avoid liability for breaches of investment treaties, the argument is made, states will internalize their international legal obligations, reform their governmental decision-making processes, and thereby improve the rule of law.
Although there is a significant amount of research examining the relationship between investment treaties and foreign investment flows, there is a lack of empirical research on the effects of investment treaties on domestic governance. Moreover, the premise regarding changes in governance rests on questionable assumptions about state behavior, especially in the developing world, where regulatory capacity is often limited. Indeed, the few studies which have examined this question suggest that developing states’ awareness of international investment treaty obligations may be very low, and at times non-existent.
Deadline for submission of abstract: 31 July 2017