Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: July 2019

3 - Developing Countries’ Love–Hate Relationship with Neoliberalism


Rather than a wholesale rejection of neoliberalism, emerging powers are engaging in policy eclecticism: adopting some of the tenets of liberal ordering while rejecting others, applying liberal disciplines asymmetrically in pursuit of strategic self-interest, creating other fora for negotiations and adopting different regulatory priorities. In this chapter, we examine how emerging countries’ discontent with the status quo transpired, and what is left of the liberal ordering in the practice of emerging countries. The first part assesses how developing countries are utilizing WTO law to further their own economic policies, but also denotes how they are strategically breaching some rules and resisting the adoption of new disciplines. The second part analyzes how and why bilateral investment treaties and related institutions are falling out of favor with emerging countries after the initial wave of adoption of these instruments. This chapter highlights the tensions between emerging countries’ developmental policies and IEL, along with the more specific clashes that have transpired in recent decades in their practice of trade and investment law.