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In September 2015, world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a global effort under the auspices of the United Nations (UN) to tackle poverty, climate change and violence while promoting more equal, inclusive and prosperous societies. They agreed on 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 ambitious SDG targets covering all areas of human development and the environment to guide development efforts through the 2030 time horizon. The SDGs represent a fundamentally distinctive approach to development that moves away from a narrow perspective on economic development to an integrative agenda that simultaneously pursues ecological, social and economic goals (Stevens and Kanie 2016).
The chapters in this volume have shown that international trade and foreign investment can contribute in different ways to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at all levels, be it international, supranational, transnational, national or subnational.
In September 2015, world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent a distinctive approach to development that moves away from a narrow perspective on economic development to an integrative agenda that simultaneously pursues ecological, social and economic goals. Trade and foreign investment are important economic vectors through which many of these goals can be achieved. Much depends, however, on whether and how SDGs are incorporated in international trade and investment agreements, and in private or public sector initiatives. Policymakers are also confronted with the interdependence of the SDGs which raises difficult trade-offs between various Goals. The contributions in this book explore the penetration and trade-offs of the SDGs, drawing on a multi-disciplinary approach incorporating insights from economists, lawyers and political scientists. The book offers a valuable guide for scholars and policy makers in identifying and evaluating the complex challenges related to sustainable development.
Whereas there are still many gaps in our understanding of negotiation processes, one well-established pattern is that the way negotiators communicate and interpret information does matter. It codetermines both the process and outcome of bargaining. In the study of international negotiations, authors have particularly focused on how actors behave when they have, at the beginning of the process, limited information regarding the resources, resolve, and domestic context of their negotiating partners. A large body of literature has explored such situations with the use of formal game-theoretic analytical tools, making use of so-called incomplete information models to see how limited information can influence actors' strategies. Incomplete information about domestic politics has been a particular focus of study, especially since the advent of the two-level game metaphor, which gave a new start to an older research tradition on domestic politics and international negotiations. Authors have paid particular attention to the influence of domestic feasibility sets, win-sets in Putnam's words, on international negotiations, starting from the assumption that negotiators can never, or at least very rarely, exactly know the domestic constraints of their counterparts, and may also have difficulty with their own constraints. While such recent formal work has helped to better determine the conditions of applicability of Schelling's famous theory of strength in (domestic) weakness, that question remains problematic, to say the least, for many analysts, observers and practitioners of international negotiations. We see two main reasons for this.
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