Sovereign Debt Diplomacies: Rethinking sovereign debt from colonial empires to hegemony

ISBN : 9780198866350

Pierre Penet; Juan Flores Zendejas
384 Pages
160 x 242 mm
Pub date
Mar 2021
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This is an open access title available under the terms of a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International licence. It is free to read at Oxford Scholarship Online and offered as a free PDF download from OUP and selected open access locations. Sovereign Debt Diplomacies aims to revisit the meaning of sovereign debt in relation to colonial history and postcolonial developments. It offers three main contributions. The first contribution is historical. The volume historicises a research field that has so far focused primarily on the post-1980 years. A focus on colonial debt from the 19th century building of colonial empires to the decolonisation era in the 1960s-70s fills an important gap in recent debt historiographies. Economic historians have engaged with colonialism only reluctantly or en passant, giving credence to the idea that colonialism is not a development that deserves to be treated on its own. This has led to suboptimal developments in recent scholarship. The second contribution adds a 'law and society' dimension to studies of debt. The analytical payoff of the exercise is to capture the current developments and functional limits of debt contracting and adjudication in relation to the long-term political and sociological dynamics of sovereignty. Finally, Sovereign Debt Diplomacies imports insights from, and contributes to the body of research currently developed in the Humanities under the label 'colonial and postcolonial studies'. The emphasis on 'history from below' and focus on 'subaltern agency' usefully complement the traditional elite-perspective on financial imperialism favoured by the British school of empire history.


Pierre Penet and Juan Flores Zendejas: Introduction: Sovereign Debt Diplomacies
1 Pierre Penet And Juan Flores Zendejas: Rethinking Sovereign Debt from Colonial Empires to Hegemony
Section 1. Imperial Solutions to Sovereign Debt Crises (1820-1933)
2 Juan Flores Zendejas And Felipe Ford Cole: Sovereignty and Debt in 19th Century Latin America
3 Ali Coskun Tuncer: Foreign Debt and Colonisation in Egypt and Tunisia (1840-1882)
4 Nicolas Degive And Kim Oosterlinck: Independence and the Effect of Empire: The Case of 'Sovereign Debts' issued by British Colonies
Section 2. Debt Disputes in The Age Of Financial Repression: When Repayment Takes A Backseat (1933-1970s)
5 Gustavo Del Angel And Lorena Perez: The Fortune of Geopolitical Conditions in Debt Diplomacy: Mexico's Long Road to the 1942 Foreign Debt Settlement
6 Laura De La Villa: The Multilateral Principle-Based Approach to the Restructuring of German Debts in 1953
7 Juan Flores Zendejas, Pierre Penet, and Christian Suter: The Revenge of Defaulters: Sovereign Defaults and Interstate Negotiations in the Post-War Financial Order
Section 3. Postcolonial Transitions and the Hopes for a New International Economic Order (1960s-1980s)
8 Gregoire Mallard: We Owe You Nothing: Decolonization and Sovereign Debt Obligations in International Public Law
9 Michael Waibel: Decolonization and Sovereign Debt: A Quagmire
10 Quentin Deforge And Benjamin Lemoine: Third World Project and the Battles of Debt: Macro Financial Agenda versus Technical Assistance at UNCTAD
Section 4. The Legalisation of Sovereign Debt Disputes Between Wish and Reality (1990s-Present)
11 Giselle Datz: Placing Contemporary Sovereign Debt: The Fragmented Landscape of Legal Precedent and Legislative Preemption
12 Mitu Gulati And Ugo Panizza: Maduro Bonds
13 Anusha Chari And Ryan Leary: Contract Provisions, Default Risk, and Bond Prices: Evidence from Puerto Rico
Odette Lienau: Concluding Remarks: (Neo)Colonialism, (Neo)Imperialism, and Hegemony

About the author: 

Juan Flores Zendejas has a PhD in Economics from Sciences Po Paris. Before joining the Department of History, Economics, and Society at the University of Geneva as an Associate Professor in 2008, Flores Zendejas held a tenure-track position at the University Carlos III in Madrid (Spain). He has been invited professor in other universities in Mexico, Spain, Uruguay, and Switzerland. He has also worked for the Mexican Government and as external consultant to the Mexican Senate, to the private sector, and to the OECD. Flores Zendejas works on financial crises and sovereign defaults in a long-term perspective, and on the economic history of Latin America. ; Pierre Penet holds a PhD in Sociology from Northwestern University and Sciences Po Paris (2014). He is a CNRS researcher at the Ecole Normale Superieure Paris-Saclay (IDHES) and a former Fellow at the Paris Institute for Advanced Study (2019-20). His expertise straddles the boundaries of economic sociology and the history of quantification. He has worked extensively on topics of credit rating agencies, the European debt crisis, austerity pro- grammes, and the legal doctrine of odious debt. His work has been published by the British Journal of Sociology, European Journal of Sociology, Poetics, Sociologie du Travail, etc. His forthcoming book on financial prophecies will study the economists who claim to have predicted the 2008 financial crisis.

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