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Working Papers

Arbitrators as Advisors: Evidence From Changes in Investment Treaty Design

(Co-authored with Minju Kim, Assistant Professor at Syracuse University)

Currently Under Review

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Past research on international investment agreements (IIA) finds that states maintain dispute settlement procedure accessible to investors despite their previous involvement in investment disputes. Why do states maintain investor-friendly dispute settlement procedure regardless of their bitter experience? We argue that lawyers can advise their home states to retain accessible dispute settlement procedure at the stage of renegotiation. By tracing investment dispute cases and nationality of arbitration practitioners registered in International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), we show that states' loss from investment disputes increases the supply of arbitration practitioners from those states. We then show that the states with a higher number of arbitration practitioners are more likely to retain dispute settlement procedures accessible to investors. Our findings show that lawyers as both domestic and international actors can further judicialize the design of investment treaties. 

Works in Progress

Rebounding the Boomerang: How Civil Society Prevents Backsliding of Norm Compliance

(Co-authored with Sumin Lee, Asistant Professor at Texas A&M)

This project is supported by the Arizona State University Human Rights Hub Mini Research Grant 

States backlash against international courts. However, few research examines the domestic impact of these related treaty withdrawals. International treaties are created to uphold a certain value and improve domestic standards. However, if states decide to withdraw from that treaty, does this lead to a decline in these domestic standards the international treaty was meant to uphold? Focusing on the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, this paper examines the domestic impact of treaty withdrawal on crimes against humanity (Article 7). We argue that the withdrawal of the international treaty does not lead to a significant deterioration of the purported goals when (a) domestic compliance advocates such as INGOs are strong and (b) domestic elites in favor of withdrawal are electorally contested . We test the argument comparing the two exit states (Burundi and the Philippines) and the two states that rescinded their withdrawal (the Gambia and South Africa). The research implies that withdrawal may not lead to a direct decline in goals of international treaties, and that states may still be bound to these standards even after withdrawal.  

Why Countries Invoke Different Safeguard Clauses: A Study of GATT Balance of Payment Clauses

(Co-authored with Stephen C. Nelson, Northwestern University)

States still suffer from balance of payments problems (BOP). International rules allow such states to invoke safeguard clauses in order to recover quickly from BOP problems. However, there has been a drastic decline in the usage of such balance of payment clauses, despite the legal availability. We also observe cases where certain countries refrain from using these clauses despite suffering from BOP problems. As such, we ask two questions: (1) Why has there been an overall decline in the usage of balance of payment safeguard clauses since the 1960s? (2) Why do some countries prefer one balance of payment clauses over another? We argue that fear of signalling decline in economic prestige can prevent states from actively avoiding specific safeguard clauses even if invoking such clauses are well within their rights. We show that there are intangible trade-offs between short-term and long-term economic stability in the usage of certain safeguard clauses.  

Reverse-Diffusion: How One Multilateral Cooperation Hinders the Development of Another

(Co-authored with Rachel Hulvey, PhD Candidate at the University of Pennsylvania)

Does ratification of international agreements indeed socialize states? If so, how? This paper looks at how ratification of the Budapest Convention, an agreement involving states within and beyond Europe to foster cooperation on cybercrime, impacts states’ choices to involve themselves in the ongoing ad-hoc UN negotiations on a global Cybercrime convention. We argue that the Budapest convention socializes diplomats to undervalue the current UN negotiations, a phenomenon we label as “reverse diffusion.” We plan to implement elite survey experiments and interviews of diplomats involved in the current UN negotiations. We expect to find that the overlap of international institutions does not necessarily facilitate treaty-creation but may rather serve to obstruct and politicize state efforts. 

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