Can Robots Write Treaties? Yes, They Can!

10 Jul 2017

Recurrent neural networks trained on investment treaty texts can automatically draft new clauses of lawyer-like quality. They will not replace negotiators, but may make their task of composing a compromise text easier.

Continue Reading →

The power of expertise in BIT negotiations

18 Oct 2016

GUEST POST by Tarald Laudal Berge, PhD Candidate in Political Science, PluriCourts, Olso.

Continue Reading →

Concession or innovation? Investigating bargaining dynamics using textual distance from prior treaties and model agreements

01 Sep 2016

Textual similarity analysis offers a new way to investigate who wins treaty negotiations. But not every deviation from a prior agreement or a country’s model treaty is a concession.

Continue Reading →

Will TPP Stop China’s Rise?

18 Aug 2016

GUEST POST by Todd N. Tucker, Research Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute.

Continue Reading →

BITs reloaded – How European states are rebooting their investment treaty programs

29 Jul 2016

While all attention is focused on mega-regional negotiations, European states are quietly beginning to redesign their national investment treaty programs. The recent Slovakia-Iran BIT gives a taste of the innovations to come.

Continue Reading →

Rule-Takers and Rule-Makers in the BIT Universe: Empirical Evidence of a North-South Divide

28 Jul 2016

Who writes the rules in the BIT universe? Our recent text-as-data research suggests that investment law is marked by a North-South divide between developed country rule-makers and developing country rule-takers.

Continue Reading →

Diffusion of Public Policy Exceptions in Investment Treaties — How Africa turned from Innovator to Imitator

29 Jun 2016

Although devloped countries were the main architects of the BIT universe, some treaty features have a distinctly developing country handwriting as our analysis of African BIT innovators suggests.

Continue Reading →

Legal scrubbing or renegotiation? A text-as-data analysis of how the EU smuggled an investment court into its trade agreement with Canada

24 Mar 2016

When official treaty negotiations end, unofficial negotiations begin. Changes made during “legal scrubbing” can turn the original deal on its head as our text-as-data analysis shows.

Continue Reading →

About this blog

Short post summarize the key findings from our Mapping BITs research. Each post links to the underlying research paper and refers to other helpful online resources.

Do you want to share your findings from using the Mapping BITs website? Then send us your draft post.


Wolfgang Alschner

Wolfgang Alschner

Research Fellow at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, and the World Trade Institute, Bern