This project led by Professors Zachary Douglas and Shalini Randeria aims to explore what effects international investment agreements (IIAs) actually have on the ground, what kinds of governmental decision-making they legitimate, what policies they facilitate or constrain, and in what ways they are able to, or are perceived to, do so in four selected countries. Whereas existing research in the field has focussed mainly on understanding investors' perception, this project reverses the approach to explore what perceptions IIAs create in domestic decision-makers. The project uses the extended case method used in social anthropology to answer the research questions. This involves extended and repeated interveiews with the main actors in the field, discourse analysis of the main primary sources such as governmental memoranda, legislative documents, official press releases, as well as analysis of the media discourses and narratives about investment treaties in the four selected countries.
The research team has gathered the primary data from 2014 to 2017. After the extended period of analyzing the wealth of data gathered, the current and final phase of the project consists of writing up of an edited volume to be published in late 2018.
During the research period, the project was presented in the following events: