Why Not Default?: The Political Economy of Sovereign Debt

  • Starts10:00 am on Thursday, October 5, 2023
  • Ends11:00 am on Thursday, October 5, 2023

The European debt crisis has rekindled long-standing debates about the power of finance and the fraught relationship between capitalism and democracy in a globalized world.

Why Not Default? The Political Economy of Sovereign Debt by Jerome Roos unravels a puzzle at the heart of these debates—why, despite frequent crises and the immense costs of repayment, do so many heavily indebted countries continue to service their international debts?

In the book, Roos provides a sweeping investigation of the political economy of sovereign debt and international crisis management, from the rise of public borrowing in the Italian city-states to the recent turmoil inside the Eurozone—including the dramatic capitulation of Greece’s short-lived anti-austerity government to its European creditors in 2015.

Drawing on in-depth case studies of contemporary debt crises in Mexico, Argentina and Greece, Why Not Default? paints a disconcerting picture of the ascendancy of global finance. It shows how the profound transformation of the capitalist world economy over the past four decades has endowed private and official creditors with unprecedented structural power over heavily indebted borrowers, enabling them to impose painful austerity measures and enforce uninterrupted debt service during times of crisis—with devastating social consequences and far-reaching implications for democracy.

On Thursday, October 5 from 10:00-11:00AM, join us for a webinar discussion featuring Jerome Roos, Fellow in International Political Economy at the London School of Economics, on the political economy of sovereign debt.

This event is part of the Fall 2023 Global Economic Governance Book Talk series.

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