AbstractsLaw & Legal Studies

The Tradeoffs of Trade

by Todd H Brown

Institution: Leiden University
Year: 2016
Keywords: International Trade; Neo-Gramscianism; Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership; Investor-State Dispute Settlement
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2074925
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/38031


The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is the largest proposed trade agreement in history, affecting a total of 800 million people. Included in this trade agreement are provisions that challenge traditional ideas of state sovereignty. Most important of these are Investor-State Dispute Settlement provisions. These provisions allow corporations to circumvent domestic court systems and sue national governments before a tribunal that is insulated from judicial review. While a nation might want to exercise its sovereign right to regulate on the behalf of the safety and welfare of its populace, the potential effect on the assets of its foreign investors can lead to a regulatory chill affect causing governments to cancel its adoption of legitimate regulatory changes because of the threat of arbitration. To further investigate the effect of these provisions on state sovereignty, this thesis will employ the neo-Gramscian theory of international relations. Antonio Gramsci and the theorists of neo-Gramscianism break with the notions of state centrism and focus instead on the social classes that exercise global governance. By taking ISDS out of the law perspective and into an international relations perspective, we, with the help of Gramsci, can begin to identify the possible motives of such provisions and, more importantly, attempt to uncover the true origins of power and hegemony. Advisors/Committee Members: Scott-Smith, Giles (advisor).