political risk - The Overseas Private Investment...

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The Overseas Private Investment Corporation: Political Risk Insurance, Property Rights and State Sovereignty Marcus Chadwick A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy Discipline of Government and International Relations Faculty of Economics and Business University of Sydney 2006
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i Abstract: This thesis is concerned with the role of the United States investment insurance agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), in enforcing property and contract rights on behalf of United States (U.S.) infrastructure investors, pursuant to the deregulation of infrastructure markets across the developing world. Drawing on evidence from two recent high profile breach of regulatory contract disputes between OPIC insured U.S. energy companies and Indonesia and India respectively, the thesis finds that while legalized modes of dispute settlement have proliferated, the ‘rules of the game’— their efficacy in delimiting outcomes—emerge as a function of state power and interests, as states undertake to enforce or resist legal obligations. Second, and contrary to the image of U.S. foreign economic policy- makers as beholden to corporate interests, the thesis finds that the agency’s transformation from ‘aid to trade’ as underpinned the expansion of U.S. infrastructure investors to the developing world during the 1990s was driven by state officials consistent with evolving conceptions of U.S. national interests, central to which was the desire to expand markets for U.S. foreign investors and capital goods exporters. In this regard, the transformation of developing country infrastructure markets and the shift in the modes of resolving investor-state expropriation disputes as but one element of economic globalization and the ‘legalization’ of dispute settlement respectively are revealed as a function of U.S. material interests and power at the point of enforcement. The thesis contends, however, that the changes observed reflect not only U.S. power and interests but a specifically American conception of private property and contract rights so as to reveal OPIC investment insurance as a conduit for the diffusion of shifting property norms concerning regulatory taking (expropriation) from the United States to the world economy at large.
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This note was uploaded on 05/12/2010 for the course COMMERCE finc at University of Sydney.

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political risk - The Overseas Private Investment...

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