Mapping the Characteristics of Foreign Investment Screening Mechanisms: The New PRISM Dataset

Sarah Bauerle Danzman, Sophie Meunier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Since the 2008 financial crisis, many advanced industrialized economies, while eager to attract foreign direct investment (FDI), have also implemented or tightened investment screening mechanisms (ISMs), which empower governments to restrict foreign takeovers. ISMs, at the nexus between international political economy and international security, are an understudied phenomenon, although they have recently gained in policy prominence worldwide as a result of emerging technological risks and new threat actors. This research note introduces the Politics and Regulation of Investment Screening Mechanisms dataset, a newly coded dataset on ISMs in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries from 2007 to 2021, examining the evolution of seven key features of investment screening over time. Based on these novel data, we then describe patterns in the evolution of foreign investment screening policies. Next, we consider likely applications of the dataset to answer questions about the politics of investment as well as broader questions of economic exchange and institutional design in an age of great power competition - including by providing some initial statistical exercises on the relationship between Chinese FDI and R&D spending on ISM features. Finally, we suggest how investment screening fits within the new arsenal of unilateral instruments of economic statecraft currently being developed by liberal democracies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbersqad026
JournalInternational Studies Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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