trade agreements

The role of investment treaties in investment liberalisation

Investment treaties grant international legal rights to foreign investors. Historically, investment treaties focused exclusively on the protection of existing investments from adverse government action – for example, by requiring a host state to pay compensation if it expropriates a foreign investment. However, modern investment treaties also contain investment liberalisation provisions that govern the admission and establishment of new foreign investment. Investment liberalisation provisions limit states’ ability to restrict or place conditions on new foreign investments.

Food sovereignty and the International Peasants’ Movement

Farmer's market

Author/s (editor/s):

Dr Emma Larking

Publication year:


Publication type:

Journal article

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Mobilising for food sovereignty: the pitfalls of international human rights strategies and an exploration of alternatives

This article considers the role played by the language of human rights in a global campaign for food sovereignty. Led initially by the international peasants’ movement, Vía Campesina, the campaign opposes the globalisation of agricultural markets and neoliberal interventions in food production. Alongside other strategies, the campaign makes creative use of human rights and also seeks their institutionalisation in a UN Declaration on the rights of peasants. An examination of how the campaign employs human rights reveals a more complicated process than that suggested by the theoretical polarisation of ‘top down’ and ‘bottom up’ accounts of rights development in the sociology of human rights. It demonstrates both wariness of state power and attempts to harness the power of the state against international forces. It also shows that a desire for legal reform co-exists with the struggle for more radical social and political transformations.

Recent developments in investment agreements: the trend towards greater government control in investor-state disputes

In recent years there have been growing concerns about the potential risks of investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) in relation to legitimate government regulation.

Some of these concerns have focused on perceptions that investment tribunals have interpreted investment obligations too broadly, others have focused on perceived defects in the arbitral process.


Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet