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The contemporary investment regime is going through a major crisis. The backlash against the regime is the fiercest since the New International Economic Order. But, unlike the earlier wave of resistance, present-day upheaval against the regime, and more broadly against globalization, found a new home in the developed world. The wide alarm engendered in Europe by the not-yet-finalized Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership exposed unprecedented public unrest in developed countries towards the investment regime. The European Commission’s public consultation on investor-state dispute settlement, concluded on July 13, 2014, received 149399 replies – the largest number of submissions by stakeholders in the history of the EU. The vast majority of responses rejected investor-state arbitration, the hallmark of the contemporary investment regime, as it currently stands. In the US, the investment chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership was received with harsh criticism by academics, civil society organizations and politicians on both the left and the right. And as was evidenced by the recent US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s negotiations, the rejection of “free trade and investment” has become the new fait accompli of American politics.

At this juncture, the reform of the investment regime tops the agenda of a wide range of actors: academics, think tanks, local and international NGOs, and governments in both developed and developing countries. In the workshop, we critically assess the ongoing debates about reform and explore the feasibility of an alternative model for the governance of FDI that goes beyond the current reform proposals.

Accordingly, the workshop is divided into three main parts. The first three sessions of the workshop will be dedicated to the doctrinal structure of the contemporary investment regime. The next three sessions will map out the theoretical debates about reform which will be done by looking at three genres of literature in the field. The last session will be dedicated to thinking about the future of the investment regime beyond the current reform proposals.

This workshop has no pre-requisites and is open to all students.

For more information and workshop materials, visit: https://canvas.harvard.edu/courses/26320


February 17, 2017
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Mohammad Hamdy
Graduate Program


WCC 5048 Room