Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2016

Publication Citation

23 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 603 (2016)


This article aims to show that the tools being used to recalibrate the international investment regime, in particular proportionality and corporate social responsibility, constitute continuity rather than rupture with neoliberalism and neoliberal legality. Neoliberalism has been discredited, and few actors suggest a return to self-regulation after the 2008 global economic crisis. This call for regulation, however, finds international economic law scholarship divided between those who claim that standards of review and corporate social responsibility can solve the crisis of neoliberalism, and those who believe that the problem is more profound. In the case of the international investment regime, this article suggests that the current strategy to balance this regime consists only of adjustments to states' regulatory authority, leaving intact the legal techniques that foreign investors use to control local resources. The contractualization of foreign investment relations remains today as important as it was before the 2008 global economic crisis. In this way, this article concludes, the current balancing strategy marginally changes the means and does not change the purpose provided by neoliberalism.