Haftel, Yoram Z., Daniel F. Wajner, and Dan Eran
. 2020. “The Short and Long(er) of It: The Effect of Hard Times on Regional Institutionalization
”. International Studies Quarterly
64 (4) : 808-820. Publisher's VersionAbstract
What are the implications of hard economic times for regional economic cooperation? Existing research is sharply divided on the answer to this question. Some studies suggest that economic crises encourage governments to strengthen their regional institutions, but others indicate that they lead to decreasing investment in such initiatives. Both sides overlook the possibility that the passage of time conditions these relationships, however. We aim to bridge these opposing perspectives by distinguishing between short-term and long-term effects of economic hard times on institutionalized regional cooperation. We argue that in the short-term economic crises impede regional institutionalization due to protectionist pressures, nationalistic public sentiments, and political instability. This effect is reversed in the longer-term, as interest groups and the public adopt more favorable attitudes towards regional economic organizations (REOs) and governments employ these institutions to demonstrate their competence and to improve economic conditions. We evaluate this argument in relations to regional institutionalization, which refers to the functional scope and structure of REOs. Using a data set that contains information on this dimension for thirty REOs over four decades, we find strong support for the theoretical framework: regional institutionalization remains stagnant in the immediate aftermath of economic crises, but increases in subsequent years.
De Bruyne, Charlotte, Itay Fischhendler, and Yoram Z. Haftel
. 2020. “Design and Change in Transboundary Freshwater Agreements
”. Climatic Change
162 (2) : 321-341.Abstract
This paper presents a systematic assessment of transboundary water treaties and their institutional evolution over time. While the majority of treaties tend to remain unchanged, others are renegotiated over time, either gradually by treaty amendment or abruptly by treaty replacement. This study examines the sources of treaty amendment, treaty replacement, and renegotiation. Treaty design features, such as conflict resolution mechanisms and duration mechanisms, make up the set of independent variables. Effects are also measured for a set of control variables including the geographical configuration of a basin, the number of signatories, a history of interstate militarized disputes, water variability, the basin’s climate zone, and past renegotiations. Conflict resolution appears as a significant design feature for determining treaty stability, aided by asymmetrical basin configurations and bilateralism. The absence of conflict resolution is the main trigger for gradual change. The presence of a duration clause and a history of interstate militarized disputes are found to trigger abrupt change. Renegotiations become more likely after the first round of renegotiation, suggesting a temporal effect of path dependence on treaty evolution. This study adds to the work of scholars mapping transboundary basins at risk and provides further arguments to negotiate better and more specific treaties from the start, which include conflict resolution features that enable dialogue and rule modification while avoiding the need for formal treaty renegotiation.
Haftel, Yoram Z., and Hila Levi
. 2020. “Argentina’s Curious Response to the Global Investment Regime: External Constraints, Identity, or Both?
”. Journal of International Relations and Development
23 (4) : 755-780. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Costly investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) cases have led several developing countries to take far-reaching steps to distance themselves from the global investment regime, such as the denunciation or renegotiation of international investment agreements (IIAs) or the withdrawal from the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Despite facing the highest number of investment claims worldwide and despite being very vocal about the shortcomings of the current regime, Argentina has neither denounced a single IIA nor renounced ICSID. This article addresses this puzzle. It first shows that under the Kirchners’ governments (2003‒2015), Argentina adopted a dual approach: maintaining its IIAs and membership in ICSID on the one hand, but vigorously fighting ISDS awards on the other. Using in-depth interviews, news reports, and secondary sources, it then demonstrates that this ‘neither-in-nor-out’ approach is best explained by a unique Argentinian identity, which combines Latin American and Western dimensions, conditioned by external political and economic constraints, especially in the immediate aftermath of the 2001 financial crisis. As such, this study underscores the need to account for both material and ideational factors when striving to grasp development-related foreign policy.
Haftel, Yoram Z.
2020. “BRICS and the Global Investment Regime
”. In BRICS and the Global Economy
, Singapore: World Press Publishing. SSRN VersionAbstract
What role do Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) play in the global investment regime and what policies do they espouse? How can we account for similarities among and differences across these countries with respect to their approach to international investment agreements (IIAs) and investment arbitration? What are their implications for the future of this regime? This study addresses these questions by situating emerging market economies in the persistent North-South divide, that is endemic to the global politics of foreign direct investment (FDI). Surveying the policies of the five countries since the 1980s, it shows that all were initially motivated to provide foreign investors with protection against political risk in order to attract FDI. As their own position in the global economy has changed and the rules of the regime itself have evolved, the investment policies of the BRICS countries have transformed, albeit in distinct ways. China and, to a lesser extent, Russia appear broadly content with the current state of affairs. Brazil, India, and South Africa, on the other hand, seem to object to current rules, which they view as overly protective of foreign investors at the expense of host state regulatory space. I argue and show that two factors – the amount of FDI outflows and regime type – usefully account for the observed variation across BRICS' international investment policies, but that more research is needed to fully understand this matter. Regardless its sources, the diversity between the BRICS countries suggests that the prospects of them shaping the rules of the global investment regime, either individually or collectively, are rather bleak.