Stabilisation clauses and sustainable development in developing countries

Frank, Sotonye (2014) Stabilisation clauses and sustainable development in developing countries. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis examines the rationale and on-going purpose of stabilisation clauses and the ways in which the clauses undermine the pursuit of sustainable development in developing countries.

Two presumptions prevail in the literature on stabilisation clauses. The first is that developing countries compete for foreign investment on the basis of political risks. The second is that there are higher levels of political risks in developing countries. This thesis argues that neither presumption is true as such. The available evidence points to a more intense competition among foreign investors backed by their home governments for access to the extractive resources in developing countries. The political risks that stabilisation clauses are aimed at also exist, at least in equal measure, in developed countries. Nevertheless, stabilisation clauses are routinely recommended to developing countries as an ‘essential’ feature of an attractive investment climate. This recommendation is, however, not supported by any reliable evidence pointing to a link between stabilisation clauses and foreign investment inflow.

The literature on the potential adverse impacts of stabilisation clauses has evolved in a compartmentalised way, focusing on their impact on the ability of host governments to enact environmental and/or human rights laws. This approach and focus are misplaced because in practice, stabilisation clauses rarely limit the ability of host governments to enact human rights and environmental laws. Rather, they limit their ability to alter their fiscal and economic laws and policies in other to integrate such laws and policies with their social and environmental objectives. The main implication of this limitation is that such governments are unable to mobilise the maximum of available funds to finance their sustainable development measures including those specifically directed at eradicating poverty, improving human rights standards and protecting the environment.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Footer, Mary
Goodwin, Edward
Keywords: Stabilisation Clauses; Foreign Direct Investment; Sustainable Development; Developing Countries; Investment Contracts
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Law
Item ID: 14466
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2015 11:30
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2017 09:37

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