What can best explain the prevalence of bilateralism in the investment regime?

Authors: Morin, Jean-Frédéric; Gagné, Gilbert
Abstract: Most efforts to negotiate a multilateral agreement on the liberalization and protection of investment have failed despite the fact that there are more than 2,400 bilateral investment treaties in existence. We have coined this phenomenon the “lateralism paradox.” Within this article, we consider five hypotheses that focus respectively on power asymmetries, incentives for defection, strategic linkages, domestic constraints, and ongoing adaptation. We found that the first four explanations are not supported by empirical evidence from the post-NAFTA period. We conclude that bilateralism appears to be the only feasible approach for negotiating investment rules, as well as the most sensible process to ensure continuous and dynamic adaptation.
Document Type: Article de recherche
Issue Date: 8 December 2014
Open Access Date: 9 June 2017
Document version: AM
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/14323
This document was published in: International Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 36 (1), 53–74 (2007)
https://doi.org/10.2753/IJP0891-1916360103
Taylor and Francis
Alternative version: 10.2753/IJP0891-1916360103
Collection:Articles publiés dans des revues avec comité de lecture

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