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States, Debt, and Power'Saints' and 'Sinners' in European History and Integration$
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Kenneth Dyson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198714071

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198714071.001.0001

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Contextualizing Debt

Contextualizing Debt

History, Morality, and the Triple Structural Dimension

(p.33) 1 Contextualizing Debt
States, Debt, and Power

Kenneth Dyson

Oxford University Press

This chapter reflects on the intellectual amnesia that surrounds debates about sovereign creditworthiness and the importance of historically-grounded political economy. It examines the triple structural dimensions of sovereign creditworthiness: the structural realities of external imbalances and their consequence for asymmetry of power over how this idea is understood; its historical nesting in the principle of sovereignty and the intergovernmental structures that reflect and support this principle; and the sui generis processes of European integration, in particular the two contending concepts of building a ‘new’ Europe as a ‘stability community’ and as a ‘community of shared destiny’. The chapter also considers the strategies by which debtor-state elites can offset their relative powerlessness and how the scope for these strategies varies with negotiating context.

Keywords:   history, morality, structure, asymmetrical power, sovereignty, European integration, stability community, shared destiny, negotiating context

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