Over the last decade, the global outlook towards investment treaties has undergone a growing shift. This is perhaps best exemplified by India—the subject of Prabhash Ranjan’s book, “India and Bilateral Investment Treaties: Refusal, Acceptance, Backlash.” India’s policy towards investment treaties underwent a dramatic change over the last decade, following the White Industries award in 2011. White Industries opened the floodgate to more investment claims against India—which led to re-evaluation of India’s policy towards investment treaties. In 2015, India published a new model BIT to serve as a template for future BIT negotiations. This Model BIT was in many ways a stark departure from India’s erstwhile BITs and contains a number of procedural and substantive safeguards in favour of the host State. Since July 2016, India has actively terminated its BITs and re-opened negotiations with these countries based on the new Model BIT, albeit with limited success. India is not an outlier in this approach—several other countries such as South Africa, Australia, Pakistan, Indonesia, and countries in South America have also modified or terminated their BITs over the last few years.
Situated in this context, Mr Ranjan’s book explores India’s shifting investment treaty regime and its interaction with economic policymaking. Given India’s status as a leading global economic power, the book is a timely and much required addition to the relatively scant scholarship in this field.