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