International (investment) law and distribution conflicts over natural resources

  • While distribution conflicts over natural resources were central to the debates on a New International Economic Order, during the last decades the specific distribution conflicts surrounding natural resource exploitation no longer have been at the core of international law. In this paper I trace the developments in the relationship between international law and resource distribution conflicts. I first argue that the New International Economic Order favored the political resolution of distribution conflicts over natural resources and envisaged international distribution conflicts to be addressed by the political organs of international institutions within legal procedures Second, I show how the NIEO was surpassed by a different order that relied largely on the market as a distribution mechanism for raw materials and how international institutions and international law played a crucial role in the establishment of this order by promoting the privatization of natural resource exploitation and protecting foreign direct investment and trade. With reference to the copper industry in Zambia I thirdly illustrate how international investment law, and more broadly international economic law, is shaping (and affecting the resolution of) not only distribution conflicts between, but also within States. I conclude with a call for a renewed focus on an international law of resource conflicts to allow for their political resolution given the countermoves we can observe with respect to international investment law and the persistence of (violent) conflicts over natural resource exploitation within States.

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Author:Isabel Feichtner
Parent Title (English):Arbeitspapier / Fachbereich Rechtswissenschaft, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main = Research paper / Faculty of Law, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Nr. 2014,14
Series (Serial Number):Arbeitspapiere / Fachbereich Rechtswissenschaft, Goethe-Universität = Research paper / Faculty of Law, Goethe University (2014, 14)
Publisher:Goethe-Univ., Fachbereich Rechtswiss.
Place of publication:Frankfurt am Main
Document Type:Working Paper
Date of Publication (online):2014/09/23
Date of first Publication:2014/09/23
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2014/09/23
Tag:Exportrestriktionen für Rohstoffe; Internationale Rohstoffabkommen; Internationales Investitionsschutzrecht; Rohstoffkonflikte; Ständige Souveränität über Natürliche Ressourcen
Page Number:30
First Page:1
Last Page:30
Forthcoming in: Hofmann/Schill/Tams (eds), International Investment Law and Sustainable Development, Edward Elgar 2014
Institutes:Rechtswissenschaft / Rechtswissenschaft
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 34 Recht / 340 Recht
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht