Workshop The Politics and Regulation of Investment Screening Mechanisms

Oct 7, 2022, 9:00 am5:30 pm


Event Description

The workshop The Politics and Regulation of Investment Screening Mechanisms, organized by Sarah Bauerle Danzman and Sophie Meunier, took place at Princeton University on October 7, 2022. Thanks to the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance (NCGG), the EU Program at Princeton (EUPP) and the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination (LISD) for funding.

At least since the end of the Cold War, most countries, wealthy or not, have been eager to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), widely seen as growth promoting and less likely to generate volatility than short-term capital flows. Many advanced industrialized economies, however, have recently implemented or expanded Investment Screening Mechanisms (ISMs), which empower governments to restrict foreign mergers and acquisitions, especially in strategic sectors.  The expansion of investment screening challenges accepted wisdom about the role of state authority in the global economy, the ways in which governments compete with each other for mobile capital, and the influence of electoral politics in shaping orientations toward the global market. Yet, though part of a growing trend towards the securitization and geopoliticization of economic policy, ISMs are an understudied phenomenon, both in the International Political Economy and International Security literatures. We know little about the politics of their design features, nor about the costs they impose on the various actors involved. 

This workshop takes stock of how scholars from a variety of disciplines are analyzing the causes, features, and implications of the expansion and tightening of ISMs worldwide.


The Politics and Regulation of Investment Screening Mechanisms

Organized by Sarah Bauerle Danzman and Sophie Meunier

Princeton University

Friday October 7, 2022

Wallace 300


9:00-9:45 am

Welcome remarks and presentation of the PRISM dataset


Sarah Bauerle Danzman (Indiana University) and Sophie Meunier (Princeton University)

Gabriella Couloubaritsis (Indiana University)





10:00-11:30 am  

The rise of Investment Screening Mechanisms


The rise of investment screening: Norms and diffusion in international economic policy

Renaud Bourles (Centrale Marseille), Michael Dorsch (Central European University) and Vera Eichenauer (ETH Zurich)

National security investment screening mechanisms as a tool of economic statecraft and internal balancing

Ashley Lenihan (Georgetown University)

Reconceptualizing the Legal-Economic Nexus in the Era of Great Power Rivalry: The Case of Foreign Direct Investment Screening

Naoise McDonagh (University of Adelaide) and Jens Hillebrand Pohl (Tampere University)

Innovation and the Chinese threat: Explaining investment screening at the forefront of technology

Doron Ella (University of Haifa) and Mark Manger (University of Toronto)


Discussant: Haillie N. Lee (Princeton University, Seoul National University)






The political dynamics around ISMs


Critical technologies, investment screening and policy uncertainty

Andrew Walter (University of Melbourne)

Does uncertainty and crises shape policymaker's regulatory decisions to adopt stricter regulations on incoming Foreign Direct Investment?

Anastasia Ufimtseva (Simon Fraser University)

Preemptive depoliticization: The European Commission and the EU foreign investment screening regulation

Anna Vlasiuk Nibe (University of Southern Denmark), Sophie Meunier (Princeton University) and Christilla Roederer Rynning (University of Southern Denmark)


Discussant: Calvin Thrall (Princeton University)






Varieties of ISMs around the world


Domestic state-industry relations and Investment Screening Mechanisms

Floor Doppen (University of Antwerp), Antonio Calcara (University of Antwerp), and Dirk de Bievre (University of Antwerp)

Business and the politics of investment screening – A study of the preferences of Swedish business associations

Alexander Dannerhall (OsloMet)

Economic security is national security: Commercial interests and influence over investment screening

Sarah Bauerle Danzman (Indiana University)


Discussant: Layna Mosley (Princeton University)





3:45 -5:15pm

Political economy and unintended consequences of ISMs


Unintended consequences of Investment Screening Mechanism on cross-border Mergers and Acquisitions

Hyeon-Young Ro (Santa Clara University)

National security creep in corporate transactions

Cathy Hwang (University of Virginia) and Kristen Eichensehr (University of Virginia)

Investment screening, national security, and economic development: Exploring divergent interests in federal political systems

Michelle Egan (American University) and Terrence Guay (Penn State)

Fair play? The politics of evaluating foreign subsidies in the European Union

Robert Basedow (London School of Economics), Sophie Meunier (Princeton University) and Christilla Roederer-Rynning (University of Southern Denmark)


Discussant: MD Mangini (Princeton University)



Moving forward