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This symposium derives from a conference convened by Congyan Cai at Xiamen University in 2017, which brought together scholars and policy-makers from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (the BRICS), together with several investment treaty specialists from Western states and international organizations. The idea behind the symposium was to investigate to what extent the BRICS took, had the potential to take, or should take a common approach to the investment treaty system. Part of the impetus for the Xiamen conference was the recognition that Western power in the investment treaty system had become less extensive in recent years than previously, while certain non-Western states were becoming more active in the regime.1 This rebalancing led to questions about the extent to which the approaches of the BRICS do—and should—differ from each other and from their Western counterparts, and the implications that the BRICS’ approaches could have on the current efforts to reform the investment treaty system. This introduction first gives a roadmap of the contributions in the symposium. It then reflects on some of the advantages and difficulties of bringing together scholars from diverse non-Western states and some of the lessons we learned in the process.
Cai, Congyan; Roberts, Anthea. AJIL Unbound; Washington Vol. 112, (2018): 187-190. DOI:10.1017/aju.2018.62