JEAIL > Volume 13(2); 2020 > Articles
Research Paper
Published online: Nov. 30, 2020

Calvo Is Back! Changing Sovereignty and Evolutionary Investment Law in a Leaving and Return of the State Paradigm

Shuo Feng & Wei Shen
No.1954 Huashan Road, Shanghai, P.R. China.
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Although the key purpose of international investment law is to promote foreign investor protection by offering both substantive and procedural standards, the international investment governance regime needs to strike a balance between foreign investor rights protection and the host state’s right to regulate. The changing balance of this dichotomy shapes a leaving-and-return-of-the-state paradigm which explains and rationalizes an evolutionary development of both substantive and procedural norms and the changing status of sovereignty in international investment law. The “leaving” or “return” of the state paradigm informs us of the role of the state in the context of international investment law. This article makes a normative case for reframing investment and national security within what we call the investment rule of law. Both push for and pull from a liberalization movement are in an attempt to reshape this investment rule of law surrounding the concept of sovereignty, the core of international law.

Keywords : International investment law, Sovereignty, Calvo Doctrine, Investor Protection, Right to Regulate

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