International regime complexity and economic law enforcement

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The article makes two contributions: first, it locates the causes of the increase in parallel, overlapping, or related proceedings in the enforcement of international trade and investment agreements in two distinct but interrelated dynamics: the inseparability or 'convergence' of trade and investment and 'minilateralism' - or the expansion of regional trade agreements as an alternative to global negotiations. In contrast to some accounts, the article is not troubled by this phenomenon. Instead, it explores the intersections between international trade regulations and investment law during the process of enforcement. Specifically, it describes how the expansion of economic arrangements creates spaces to maneuver and innovate and proposes a framework of six strategies to understand the combination of different but related bodies of laws. Second, the article presents policy-makers and treaty negotiators with a palette of targeted options that can help to control these strategies. I argue that while it may be close to impossible to catalog all the consequences of converging structures, overlapping jurisdictions, and parallel lawmakers of trade and investment, states can promote coordination across tribunals and, to a limited extent, among independent but interconnected regimes by understanding the ways economic agreements interact as an international regime complex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-516
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of International Economic Law
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Law


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