Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Political Science

Content Description

1 online resource (vii, 146 pages) : color illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Bryan R. Early

Committee Members

Bryan R. Early, Rey Koslowski, Christopher Clary


Bilateral Investment Treaties, Economic Sanctions, Preferential Trade Agreements, Sanctions-busting, Economic sanctions, Commercial treaties, Tariff preferences, International trade, Investments, Foreign

Subject Categories

International Relations | Political Science


Why does the imposition of sanctions sometimes encourage the signing of new preferential trade agreements (PTAs) and bilateral investment treaties (BITs) between target states and their trade partners? I develop the theory that “trade plants the flag” and the argument of “chomping at the BIT” to explain how the trade-based and foreign direct investment (FDI)-based sanctions-busting behavior of firms drives their home governments to sign new PTAs and BITs with target states. The notion that “trade plants the flag” reveals that sanctions-busting firms exercise political influence on governments to reinforce their competitiveness in sanctioned states by concluding the PTA negotiation. Likewise, the mechanism of “chomping at the BIT” illustrates the lobbying efforts of multinational corporations (MNCs) on their home governments to sign a BIT to protect their investment from expropriation by target states.