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Washington & Lee Public Legal Studies Research Paper Series Accepted Paper No. 2012-35

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The international investment system has depended heavily on international arbitration to provide guidance and clarification on the standards contained in international investment agreements. In order to assess the system realistically, this commentary discusses unpacking stakeholder expectations by recognizing where expectations may have been overly optimistic and thinking systematically about the mechanisms through which to capture and manage regulatory discretion. This article evaluates ideas expressed by Anne van Aaken and Bart Legum, which consider different ways to achieve regulatory and commercial balance, and offers a lens for thinking systematically about managing stakeholder expectations in the international investment system. A critical issue for international investment law relates to cognitive psychology and how to manage the expectations of differently situated stakeholders. This commentary explores different methods to managing stakeholder expectations and investment treaty conflict such as education and different doctrinal opportunities such as administrative law’s model of formal and informal rule-making and adjudication. This commentary concludes that an evidence-based nuanced analysis allows consideration of specific dynamics about stakeholder objectives, enabling a more realistic assessment of the international investment regime.



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