European University Institute Library

A World of Public Debts, A Political History, edited by Nicolas Barreyre, Nicolas Delalande

A World of Public Debts, A Political History, edited by Nicolas Barreyre, Nicolas Delalande
Literary Form
non fiction
Main title
A World of Public Debts
electronic resource
Nature of contents
Oclc number
Responsibility statement
edited by Nicolas Barreyre, Nicolas Delalande
Series statement
Palgrave Studies in the History of Finance,, 2662-5164Springer eBooks.
Sub title
A Political History
This book analyzes public debt from a political, historical, and global perspective. It demonstrates that public debt has been a defining feature in the construction of modern states, a main driver in the history of capitalism, and a potent geopolitical force. From revolutionary crisis to empire and the rise and fall of a post-war world order, the problem of debt has never been the sole purview of closed economic circles. This book offers a key to understanding the centrality of public debt today by revealing that political problems of public debt have and will continue to need a political response. Today’s tendency to consider public debt as a source of fragility or economic inefficiency misses the fact that, since the eighteenth century, public debts and capital markets have on many occasions been used by states to enforce their sovereignty and build their institutions, especially in times of war. It is nonetheless striking to observe that certain solutions that were used in the past to smooth out public debt crises (inflation, default, cancellation, or capital controls) were left out of the political framing of the recent crisis, therefore revealing how the balance of power between bondholders, taxpayers, pensioners, and wage-earners has evolved over the past 40 years. Today, as the Covid-19 pandemic opens up a dramatic new crisis, reconnecting the history of capitalism and that of democracy seems one of the most urgent intellectual and political tasks of our time. This global political history of public debt is a contribution to this debate and will be of interest to financial, economic, and political historians and researchers. Chapters 13 and 19 are available open access under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License via, Provided by publisher
Table Of Contents
Part I Political Crises and the Legitimacy of Public Debts (1770s-1860s) -- 1. An Empire of Debts? Spain and Its Colonial Realm -- 2. Publicity, Debt, and Politics: The Old Regime and the French Revolution -- 3. Politics of Credit: Government Borrowing and Political Regimes in Sweden -- 4. Public Debt and Democratic Statecraft in Nineteenth-Century France -- Part II Global Capital, Imperial Expansions, and Changing Sovereignties (1860s-1914) -- 5. The Entanglements of Domestic Polities: Public Debt and European Interventions in Latin America -- 6. Leveraging Foreign Control: Reform in the Ottoman Empire -- 7. The Unforeseen Path of Debt Imperialism: Local Struggles, Transnational Knowledge, and Colonialism in Egypt -- 8. Trading Sovereignty for Capital? Public Debt in West Africa, 1871-1914 -- 9. The Domestic Effects of Foreign Capital: Public Debt and Regional Inequalities in Late Qing China -- 10. Fiscal Federalism: Local Debt and the Construction of the Modern State in the United States and France -- Part III The Great Transformation of Public Debts (1914-1970s) -- 11. The Financial Challenges of Total War: Britain, France, and Their Empires in the First World War -- 12. Beyond Democracy or Dictatorship: Structuring Sovereign Debt in Germany from Weimar to the Postwar Period -- 13. The Communist World of Public Debt (1917-1991): The Failure of a Countermodel? -- 14. Debt Without Taxation: Iraq, Syria, and the Crisis of Empires from the Mandates to the Cold War Era -- Part IV The Political Roads to Financial Markets and Global Debt Crisis (1970s) -- 15. From Debt Dirigisme to Debt Markets in France and India -- 16. The Political Economy of Debt Crisis: State, Banks, and the Financialization of Public Debt in Italy since the 1970s -- 17. From a Multilateral Broker to the National Judge: The Law and Governance of Sovereign Debt Restructuring, 1980-2015 -- 18. Of Bond Vigilantes, Central Bankers, and the Crisis of 2008 -- Part V Conclusion: On the Historical Uses of Numbers and Words -- 19. The History and Politics of Public Debt Accounting -- 20. The Words of Public Debts: A Political Repertoire.
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