Debt Politics


Democracy, Autocracy and Sovereign Debt

How did polity shape government-creditor relations in the first age of globalisation?

Dr Coşkun Tunçer (University College London)  
Dr Leonardo Weller (Fundação Getúlio Vargas)

Sovereign debt is a financial as well as a political topic. Politics shapes the way governments borrow and repay. The main research question of this project is how political systems influenced the way peripheral governments managed their debt in the first financial globalisation, from c. 1870 to 1914. 

We approach this by studying a number of case studies that mix different political regimes and debt records. Besides contributing to our understanding of how politics affected creditor-governments relations before 1914, the topic has also contemporary relevance, since indebted governments face increasingly more political challenges to manage their fiscal accounts nowadays. 

This project is supported by the British Academy Newton Fund (2016-19).