Why Not Default?: The Political Economy of Sovereign Debt
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? unravels a striking 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 this compelling and incisive book, Jerome Roos provides a sweeping investigation of the political economy of sovereign debt and international crisis management. He takes readers from the rise of public borrowing in the Italian city-states to the gunboat diplomacy of the imperialist era and the wave of sovereign defaults during the Great Depression. He vividly describes the debt crises of developing countries in the 1980s and 1990s and sheds new light on the recent turmoil inside the Eurozone―including the dramatic capitulation of Greece’s short-lived anti-austerity government to its European creditors in 2015.