The Origins of International Investment Law: Empire, environment and the safeguarding of capital

By Kate Miles, Published by Cambridge University Press, July 2015

This book examines the historical evolution of international investment law (IIL), from its origins in the commercial and political expansionism of dominant states during the 17th to early 20th centuries to the continued resonance of those origins within modern IIL. An overview of the activities of the Dutch East India Company, Grotius’ treatises, and pre-World War II international investment disputes provides insight into current controversies surrounding the interplay of public and private interests, the systemic design of investor–state arbitration, the substantive focus of principles, and the treatment of environmental issues within IIL. The book provides a conceptual framework, new understandings, an assessment on trends in investment law and policy, and practical measures for reform. Available at