Lauge N. Skovgaard Poulsen has sucessfully defended his PhD thesis at the London School of Economics
Thesis title: Sacrificing Sovereignty by Chance: Investment Treaties, Developing Countries, and Bounded Rationality
Lauge's thesis investigates why, and how, developing countries have signed bilateral investment treaties (BITs). He finds that by overestimating the benefits of BITs and ignoring the risks, developing country governments often saw the treaties as merely ‘tokens of goodwill’. Many thereby sacrificed their sovereignty more by chance than by design. The thesis is of relevance to a wide range of literatures. Apart from being the first comprehensive international relations study on investment treaties, its multi-method approach provides a robust and nuanced view of the drivers of international policy diffusion. Finally, it is the first major work in international political economy using insights on systematic – and thus predictable – cognitive heuristics consistently found in the behavioural economics discipline.
The thesis was supported by a grant awarded by an International Ph.D. Grant awarded by the Danish Research Council managed by the Department of Business and Politics.
Examiners: Professor Kurt Weyland, University of Texas at Austin and Dr. Federico Ortino, Reader at Kings College, London.
Examiners’ recommendation: no revisions (exam board approval pending).
An abstract of the thesis can be downloaded here:abstract.pdf