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

Pierre Penet and Juan Flores Zendejas


This volume offers two important contributions to the literature on sovereign debt. First, it provides a unique genealogy of debt collection practices in terms of their availability, acceptability and efficacy. We argue that creditors’ tactics and methods to enforce debt repayment emerged and solidified to a large extent in relation to the threads of colonial history, from the building of empires to the decolonisation era. Second, this volume reflects critically on the relevance of neo-colonial interpretations in recent cases of sovereign debt disputes

Keywords: Sovereign debt, debt defaults, debt restructurings, legal clauses, bondholder committees, World War 2, colonial history, informal empires, odious debt, hegemony

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780198866350
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2021 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198866350.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Pierre Penet, editor
Researcher, École Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay, CNRS-IDHES

Juan Flores Zendejas, editor
Associate Professor, Paul Bairoch Institute of Economic History, University of Geneva

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Pierre Pénet and Juan Flores Zendejas

1 Rethinking Sovereign Debt from Colonial Empires to Hegemony

Pierre Pénet and Juan Flores Zendejas

Section 1 Imperial Solutions to Sovereign Debt Crises (1820–1933)

2 Sovereignty and Debt in Nineteenth-Century Latin America

Juan Flores Zendejas and Felipe Ford Cole

4 Independence and the Effect of Empire

Nicolas Degive and Kim Oosterlinck

Section 2 Debt Disputes in the Age of Financial Repression: When Repayment Takes a Backseat (1933–70s)

5 The Fortune of Geopolitical Conditions in Debt Diplomacy

Gustavo Del Angel and Lorena Pérez-Hernández

7 The Revenge of Defaulters

Juan Flores Zendejas, Pierre Pénet, and Christian Suter

Section 3 Postcolonial Transitions and the Hopes for a New International Economic Order (1960s–80s)

8 We Owe You Nothing

Grégoire Mallard

10 The Global South Debt Revolution That Wasn’t

Quentin Deforge and Benjamin Lemoine

Section 4 The Legalization of Sovereign Debt Disputes Between Wish and Reality (1990s–Present)

12 Maduro Bonds

Mitu Gulati and Ugo Panizza

End Matter