Argentina’s curious response to the global investment regime: external constraints, identity, or both?

Yoram Z. Haftel*, Hila Levi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Costly investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) cases have led several developing countries to take far-reaching steps to distance themselves from the global investment regime, such as the denunciation or renegotiation of international investment agreements (IIAs) or the withdrawal from the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Despite facing the highest number of investment claims worldwide and despite being very vocal about the shortcomings of the current regime, Argentina has neither denounced a single IIA nor renounced ICSID. This article addresses this puzzle. It first shows that under the Kirchners’ governments (2003‒2015), Argentina adopted a dual approach: maintaining its IIAs and membership in ICSID on the one hand, but vigorously fighting ISDS awards on the other. Using in-depth interviews, news reports, and secondary sources, it then demonstrates that this ‘neither-in-nor-out’ approach is best explained by a unique Argentinian identity, which combines Latin American and Western dimensions, conditioned by external political and economic constraints, especially in the immediate aftermath of the 2001 financial crisis. As such, this study underscores the need to account for both material and ideational factors when striving to grasp development-related foreign policy.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)755-780
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of International Relations and Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer Nature Limited.


  • Argentina
  • Foreign economic policy
  • International investment agreements (IIAs)
  • Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS)
  • National identity


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