Is democracy threatened if companies can sue countries?

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A new BBC Radio 4 documentary, Company vs Country probes that question, and features two GEG researchers discussing their research on the politics of investment disputes. 

GEG Senior Researcher Dr Taylor St John discusses her research on the history of investor-state arbitration, and her research on the politics of investor-state disputes in the US. GEG Senior Research Associate Dr Lauge Poulsen sets out the surprising way that many developing country officials found out about investor-state dispute resolution, and suggests investment treaties may be far less important to investors than is commonly assumed. 
 
The BBC has also produced a brief introduction to investor-state dispute settlement to accompany the documentary. It explains why opponents of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the proposed new trade treaty between the European Union and the United States, claim that  that allowing multinational companies to sue governments whose policies damage their interests poses a threat to democracy.