Do investor-state dispute settlement cases influence domestic environmental regulation? The role of respondent state bureaucratic capacity

Berge, Tarald Laudal / Axel Berger
External Publications (2021)

in: Journal of International Dispute Settlement 12 (1), 1-41

Open access

Does international politics influence domestic politics? In the investment treaty regime, there is currently a debate about whether investor-state dispute settlement cases influence respondent state domestic regulation. We present a systematic test of this relationship. Using two unique datasets, we examine whether investor-state cases targeting environmental measures influence respondent states’ environmental regulation. We make two theoretical contributions. First, we present an integrated typology of potential regulatory responses to investor-state dispute settlement cases. Second, we propose a novel, conditional theory of regulatory responses to investor-state cases. We argue that states’ responses should depend on their bureaucratic capacity. In our analysis, we find that respondent state bureaucratic capacity conditions the relationship between investor-state cases and subsequent domestic regulation. There is a more pronounced negative relationship between investor-state cases and regulatory behavior in states with high bureaucratic capacity than in low-capacity states.

About the author

Berger, Axel

Political Science


Further experts

Aleksandrova, Mariya

Climate risk governance 

Brandi, Clara

Economy and Political Science 

Dombrowsky, Ines


Hein, Jonas


Hernandez, Ariel


Houdret, Annabelle

Political Scientist 

Lehmann, Ina

Political Science 

Olekseyuk, Zoryana


Owusu, Solomon


Schoderer, Mirja

Environmental Researcher 

Stender, Frederik