15 Mar 2017, Hamad bin Khalifa University Press

Champions of protection? A Text-as-data analysis of the bilateral investment treaties of GCC countries

Journal article by Wolfgang Alschner, Dmitriy Skougarevski & Mengyi Wang in International Review of Law Vol. 2016, Special issue of International Investment Treaties, 5

Abstract: Through the lens of state-of-the-art text-as-data techniques, this article examines the bilateral investment treaty (BIT) practice of the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The analysis unveils two critical trends. First, GCC states are global champions of investment protection. In terms of protective features, their agreements are at par with the United States or Canada. In contrast to the latter, however, GCC states typically do not accompany their protective commitments with flexibility carve-outs. This has major implications for their investment policy. While GCC investors abroad enjoy unrivaled protection, the GCC states are also more exposed to investment claims than any other region. Second, notwithstanding similarities in their investment policy and partial convergence in treaty design, GCC states have yet to cultivate a uniform practice when it comes to investment treaty-making to speak with one voice in future negotiations with the European Union or the United States.

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