States, Debt, and Power: Saints and Sinners in European History and Integration

Hardcover | July 19, 2014

byKenneth Dyson

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States, Debt, and Power argues for the importance of situating our contextually influenced thinking about European states and debt within a commitment to historically informed and critical analysis. It teases out certain broad historical patterns. The book also examines the inescapablydifficult and contentious judgements about "bad" and "good" debt; about what constitutes sustainable debt; and about distributive justice at times of sovereign debt crisis. These judgements offer insight into the nature of power and the contingent nature of sovereign creditworthiness. Three themes weave through the book: the significance of creditor-debtor state relations in defining asymmetry of power; the context-specific and constructed character of debt, above all in relation to war; and the limitations of formal economic reasoning in the face of radical uncertainty. Part Iexamines case studies from Ancient Greece to the modern Euro Area and brings together a wealth of historical data that cast fresh light on how sovereign debt problems are debated and addressed. Part II looks at the conditioning and constraining framework of law, culture, and ideology and theirrelationship to the use of policy instruments. Part III shows how the problems of matching the assumption of liability with the exercise of control are rooted in external trade and financial imbalances and external debt; in financial markets and vulnerability to banking crisis; in the character ofthe "private governance of public debt"; in who has power over indicators of sustainability; in domestic institutional and political arrangements; and in sub-national fiscal governance. Part IV looks at how the problems of mismatch between liability and control take on an acute form within thehistorical context of European monetary union, above all in Euro Area debt crises.

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States, Debt, and Power argues for the importance of situating our contextually influenced thinking about European states and debt within a commitment to historically informed and critical analysis. It teases out certain broad historical patterns. The book also examines the inescapablydifficult and contentious judgements about "bad" an...

Kenneth Dyson is a Fellow of the British Academy; an Academician of the Social Sciences; a Founding Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales; a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society; and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He was twice chair of the Research Assessment Exercise Panel for European Studies; chair of the Association for...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:720 pages, 9.69 × 6.73 × 0.1 inPublished:July 19, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198714076

ISBN - 13:9780198714071

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Table of Contents

Prologue: The Perils of Sleepwalking1. Contextualizing Debt: History, Morality, and the Triple Structural Dimension2. The Nature of Sovereign Creditworthiness: Hierarchy, Sovereignty, and Responsibility3. Moralizing Credit: Bad Debt, Good Debt, and the Troubled ConsciencePart I: Debt and Political Rule in European History4. The Evolution of Public Debt5. Financial Repression, Debasement, and the Historic Arc of Default6. Theological Traces and Social Contexts7. The Dynamics of Public Debt in Historical Perspective: The Limitations of Economic ReasoningPart II: Law, Culture, and Statecraft8. Law, Public Debt, and the Paradoxes of Power9. Economic Cultures, Ideologies of Debt, and State Virtue10. Space, Time, and Statecraft: Saints, Fallen Angels, False Prophets, Redeemers, and SinnersPart III: State Liability and Territorial Control11. States and Financial Markets: The Imbalance of Power12. Professional Consensus, Political Silence, and Sovereign Creditworthiness13. The Dynamics of External Imbalances and Debt14. Which Truth? The Power of Indicators and Probabilistic Reasoning about Public Debt15. Public Debt Dynamics: Political Will and State Capacity16. Public Debt and Multi-Level Statehood: Sub-National Fiscal Governance, Structural Imbalances, and 'Stand-Alone' Fiscal CapacityPart IV: Sovereign Creditworthiness and European Integration17. Still the 'Old' Europe? Historical Legacies and Long-Term Political Challenges18. The Achilles Heel of Post-War European Integration: Endogenous Preference Formation and the Boundaries of Creditor-State PowerEpilogue: History as OracleGlossaryReferencesIndex