Integrating Sustainable Development in International Investment Law: Normative Incompatibility, System Integration and Governance Implications, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Integrating Sustainable Development in International Investment Law

Normative Incompatibility, System Integration and Governance Implications, 1st Edition

By Manjiao Chi


210 pages

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Hardback: 9781138187887
pub: 2017-10-10
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pub: 2017-10-10
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The current international investment law system is insufficiently compatible with sustainable development. To better address sustainable development concerns associated with transnational investment activities, international investment agreements should be made more compatible with sustainable development.

Integrating Sustainable Development in International Investment Law presents an important systematic study of the issue of sustainable development in the international investment law system, using conceptual, normative and governance perspectives to explore the challenges and possible solutions for making international investment law more compatible with sustainable development. Chi suggests that to effectively address the sustainable development concerns associated with transnational investment activities, the international investment agreements system should be reformed. Such reform should feature redesigning the provisions of the agreements, improving the structure of international investment agreements, strengthening the function of soft law, engaging non-state actors and enhancing the dispute settlement mechanism.

The book is primarily aimed at national and international treaty and policy-makers, lawyers and scholars. It is also suitable for graduate students studying international law and policy-making.


"Manjiao Chi has written an excellent work on the existing efforts of integrating the goals of sustainable development into the framework of investment agreements. The book defines sustainable development as the goal to be achieved, its incorporation within investment treaties and the improvements that could be made to make such incorporation more effective so that investment protection could be enmeshed with the achievement of the goals of sustainable development. This work will have a definite impact on the future course of the development of the international law on foreign investment." — M. Sornarajah, CJ Koh Professor of Law, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore

"This is a first rate primer on how to think about ‘sustainable development’ for purposes of the international investment regime. Professor Manjiao Chi goes beyond the obvious, such as mentioning "sustainable development" in the preambles of investment treaties, to consider, for example, how changes to substantive investment obligations and to the procedures applicable within investor-state arbitrations can further the economic and other goals associated with "sustainable development." He also makes a plausible case that changes to investment treaties, including moves in favor of greater transparency and amicus participation, can make a useful contribution to our understanding of what the vague, but often cited, principle of "sustainable development" means." — José E. Alvarez, Herbert and Rose Rubin Professor of International Law, NYU School of Law, USA

Table of Contents


Part I The Sustainable Development Challenges for IIAs

Chapter 1. Sustainable Development and IIA

Chapter 2. Assessment of the Existing Models and Proposals

Part II Core Sustainable Development Provisions in IIAs

Chapter 3. Substantive Provisions

Chapter 4. Exceptive Provisions

Chapter 5. Public Interest Provisions

Chapter 6. Procedural Provisions

Part III Transforming IIAs to Be More Compatible with Sustainable Development

Chapter 7. "Re-Conceptualizing" IIAs from Governance Perspective

Chapter 8. Curing the Compatibility Gap between IIAs and Sustainable Development


About the Author

Manjiao Chi is a Professor of International Law at Xiamen University, the People’s Republic of China, Deputy Security-General, the Administrative Council of Xiamen Academy of International Law, and was a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Global Cooperation Research, Germany.

About the Series

Routledge Global Cooperation Series

The Routledge Global Cooperation series develops innovative approaches to understanding, explaining and answering one of the most pressing questions of our time – how can cooperation in a culturally diverse world of nine billion people succeed?

We are rapidly approaching our planet’s limits, with trends such as advancing climate change and the destruction of biological diversity jeopardising our natural life support systems. Accelerated globalisation processes lead to an ever growing interconnectedness of markets, states, societies, and individuals. Many of today's problems cannot be solved by nation states alone. Intensified cooperation at the local, national, international, and global level is needed to tackle current and looming global crises.

This interdisciplinary series welcomes proposals from a wide range of disciplines such as international relations and global governance, environment and sustainability, development studies, international law, history, political theory or economy which develop theoretical, analytical, and normative approaches concerning pressing global cooperation questions. We favour books that take an interdisciplinary approach and appeal to an international readership comprised of scholars and postgraduate students.

To submit proposals, please contact the Development Studies Editor, Helena Hurd (

Tobias Debiel, Claus Leggewie and Dirk Messner are Co-Directors of the Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research, University Duisburg-Essen, Germany. Their research areas are, among others, Global Governance, Climate Change, Peacebuilding and Cultural Diversity of Global Citizenship. The three Co-Directors are, at the same time, based in their home institutions, which participate in the Centre, namely the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE, Messner) in Bonn, the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF, Debiel) in Duisburg and The Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI, Leggewie) in Essen.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy