240 pages, Figs, tabs
This book critically examines the interface between sustainability, development, and the governance of international investment. In doing so it challenges the orthodox view that foreign direct investment (FDI) is the 'miracle drug' for development in poor countries and it exposes serious shortcomings in the current international investment regime, which expands the rights of transnational corporations (TNCs) without commensurate rewards for the common good. Amongst the issues probed are the relationship between FDI and sustainable development in developing countries and the structure and scope of the emerging international investment regime along with the underlying problems it poses for achieving global sustainability and equity. Ultimately the contributors map out a new way forward, towards the creation and implementation of international investment rules that will promote global sustainability, equity and rewards for all.
Over the years there has been extensive debate about the relationships between international investment and sustainable development. At one extreme is the argument that foreign investment, especially in the extractive and energy sectors, leads to accelerated environmental degradation and an erosion of sustainability. At the other extreme is the view that international investment, like trade, accelerates economic development, which in turn provides the wherewithal to divert the necessary economic resources from ordinary kinds of economic activity to environmental protection and related dimensions of sustainability. This volume belongs to the first of these schools of thought, arguing that the rules governing foreign investment are fundamentally biased in favor of multinational corporations. Most of the authors are advocates affiliated with five different NGOs or think tanks, and the book contains little solid research. On the other hand, the last two chapters contain thoughtful recommendations for amending international trade and investment rules to take into greater account issues related to sustainable development. Summing Up: Recommended. Comprehensive international and environmental economics collections, lower-division undergraduate and up.--I. Walter, New York University in CHOICE
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