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Elisabeth Tuerk, Jorun Baumgartner and Dafina Atanasova

Growing unease with the current functioning of the global regime of international investment agreements (IIA), together with today’s sustainable development imperative, the greater role of governments in the economy and the evolution of the investment landscape have triggered a move towards reforming international investment rulemaking to make it better suited for today’s policy challenges. As a result, the IIA regime is going through a period of reflection, review and revision. This chapter provides an overview of key points of criticism against the current IIA regime and recent trends and debates informing IIA reform. As such, it lays out selected IIA aspects and dynamics from a ‘bird’s eye view’ and prepares the ground for more in-depth discussions by other authors in later chapters.