© 2016

Power in the International Investment Framework


Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)

About this book


This book offers a unique analysis of bilateral investment treaties (BITs). By developing a new, power-focused paradigm for understanding the international investment framework, the author shows the reader why developing countries are reacting against the BIT regime, how attempts to regulate investment at a multilateral level have failed, and why the rules of the framework are evolving.  Inspired by the work of Susan Strange, the author fills a significant lacuna in our understanding of these issues by demonstrating how power determines the actions of all those involved. This holistic reinterpretation of international investment focuses in particular on Latin America, but has wider implications for the negotiation of new treaties, including such controversial provisions as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. It will appeal to economists, political scientists and scholars of Latin America. 


International law Coalitions Multilateralism Bilateralism Sovereignty Kuhn Susan Strange Compensations Expropriations International arbitration ICSID Developing countries South America

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.PasadenaUSA

About the authors

Maria A. Gwynn is Oxford-Princeton Global Leader Fellow, and is affiliated to the University of Princeton, USA, and the University of Oxford, UK.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking


“Maria Gwynn's analysis of the making of investment treaties and outcomes thereafter in the light of the experience of Latin American states provides a novel explanation of a controversial area of international investment relations. Her use of structural power relations is analytically more capable of explaining the course of events relating to investment treaties that are taking place in Latin America.” (M Sornarajah National University of Singapore, Singapore)

“In this book, Maria Gwynn provides an original and fascinating analysis of the international investment framework through a lens of power. This allows for novel explanations of the framework. Her impressive grasp of political and legal concepts makes this book an important contribution to international scholarship.” (Maria Behrens, Bergische Universitat Wuppertal, Germany)

“Maria Gwynn presents a remarkable volume on BITs that effortlessly weaves together historical analysis, comparative work, empirical data and high theory. Its significance goes way beyond its actual object of study, the BITs of Latin American countries, and it has important lessons to teach in the contemporary debate on TTIP.” (Stefan Vogenauer, Max-Planck-Institut für europäische Rechtsgeschichte, Germany)