Todd N. Tucker

Fellow, Roosevelt Institute

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About Todd

Tucker’s research focus is global economic governance. This refers to the ways that judges, regulators, legislators, and civil society try to shape international trade, investment and financial flows to meet domestic needs. He is currently most interested in how the US tries to manage this system (which it largely built), although his training focused on the economics of developing nations. He is multi-disciplinary, working in political science, law, economics, and sociology. Prior to his academic work, Tucker directed research on international issues for Public Citizen, the U.S. consumer group. 


How to Improve International Investment Law

In the News

Regular contributions by Todd N. Tucker to Under Two Ceilings.
"Brexit Fallout: What Elite Strategy in the U.S. and Europe Got Wrong," Todd N. Tucker, Roosevelt Institute, June 24, 2016.
"The TPP Has a Provision Many Will Love to Hate. What is It and Why Does It Matter?," Todd N. Tucker, The Washington Post , October 6, 2015.


Judge Knot: Politics and Development in International Investment Law (Anthem Press, 2018).

Explores investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), where foreign investors can sue host states out of national courts before transnational tribunals over government regulation. Offers concrete alternatives to ISDS that leverage what works about the system and discard what doesn't, so that international law can be more supportive of democracy and development goals.

"Inside the Black Box: Collegial Patterns on Investment Tribunals" Journal of International Dispute Settlement 7, no. 1 (2016): 183-204.

Examines the collegial dynamics within investment tribunals. Concludes that collegial dynamics contribute to making awards more investor-friendly or fact specific. Contributes to the judicial politics and judicialization literatures by providing a case study of collegial dynamics among a class of adjudicators that lack tenure.

"Toward an Institutional Turn on Trade" Democracy: A Journal of Ideas 48 (2018).

Discusses trade policies and Democratic positions. Analyzes these topics through the lens of the 2016 election and a global perspective.

"Grounded Theory Generation: A Tool for Transparent Concept Development" International Studies Perspectives 17, no. 4 (2016): 426-438.

Shows that grounded theory methods from sociology provide useful techniques for theory generation and can help scholars break through theoretical muddles. Concludes by suggesting steps to boost transparency for grounded theory in international relations and push out the knowledge frontier.

"The WTO Ruling on the United States’ Flavoured Cigarettes Ban" in The Global Tobacco Epidemic and the Law, edited by Tania S. Voon and Andrew D. Mitchell (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2014), 87-104.

Examines a ruling by the World Trade Organization against US policies designed to keep kids from starting smoking tobacco. Argues that the WTO adjudicators failed to understand the economic and political realities confronting the Obama administration. Explains that instead, they substituted their own judgment, which is primarily informed by keeping open trade flows going.

"Investment Agreements versus the Rule of Law?," Discussion paper , IPFSD-Forum (UN Conference on Trade and Development), October 9, 2013.

Examines the increasing willingness of investment treaty arbitrators to tell executive branch officials to interfere with their own domestic judiciaries - something that has worrying consequences for the rule of law.