21 Colo. J. Int'l Envtl. L. & Pol'y 1 (2010)
International Investment Law: Origins, Imperialism and Conceptualizing the Environment

handle is hein.journals/colenvlp21 and id is 3 raw text is: Articles
International Investment Law:
Origins, Imperialism and
Conceptualizing the Environment
Kate Miles*
ABSTRACT
This paper explores the origins of international investment law and
their implications for foreign investment protection law and policy in the
twenty-first century. International rules on the protection of foreign-
owned property emerged in the context of imperialism during the
seventeenth to early twentieth centuries. This paper argues that these
origins are of fundamental importance to the shape and character of
modem international investment law. They still resonate within its
principles, structures, conceptualizations, and dispute resolution systems.
As such, this paper examines the historical context in which core
principles of this area of the law were developed, the methodologies of
imposition, and the more recent manifestations of this traditional
relationship between foreign investors, the environment of the host state,
and international law. This paper also argues that a reorientation of the
focus and principles of international investment law may assist in
developing a more balanced conceptualization of this area for the twenty-
first century-and, in so doing, may bring about a break from its current
pattern of reproducing economic imperialism.
I.   INTRODUCTION
International investment law cannot be separated from its socio-
political environment. Indeed, the political context from which it
emerged determined its core character. International investment law is a
product of the global expansion of European trade and investment
activity during the seventeenth to early twentieth centuries. It emerged

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