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The Politics of Debt Management in EU Nations and Beyond

This workshop explored the political determinants of how governments manage their sovereign debt, as well as the consequences of these decisions for financial market-government relations. While political scientists have devoted significant attention to, for instance, how political events and institutions affect the pricing of government debt in secondary markets, they have paid less attention to how governments make choices about debt management (for instance, borrowing at short versus long maturities, or borrowing in foreign versus domestic currencies). The creation of EMU resulted in institutional changes to debt management in many European countries, and recent sovereign debt crises in Eurozone countries demonstrate the importance of debt management. Governments with longer debt maturity structures, for instance, were more insulated from financial market pressures than those governments with shorter maturity profiles.

By bringing together a small set of scholars interested in the politics of sovereign debt management, we hope to advance research on this topic. The workshop offered an opportunity for participants to read and discuss one another’s work on debt management, and to identify research frontiers in this area.

The workshop took place on November 10, 2016, at UNC-Chapel Hill. Download the conference schedule and access conference papers.

This workshop was organized by Professor Layna Mosley.

Flag of the European Union.


Cameron Ballard-Rosa UNC Political Science
Sarah Brooks Ohio State University
Jonas Bunte UT Dallas
Raphael Cunha Princeton University (formerly Ohio State)
Giselle Datz Virginia Tech
Anna Gelpern Georgetown Law
Mark Hallerberg Hertie School of Governance
Stephen Kaplan George Washington University
Martin Melecky World Bank
Layna Mosley UNC Political Science
Stephanie Rickard London School of Economics
Tal Sadeh Tel Aviv University
Mark Weidemaier UNC Law
Rachel Wellhausen UT Austin



Please refer to the following literature for background information on the politics of debt management in EU nations.

Layna Mosley:

Other authors:

  • Ballard-Rosa, Cameron. 2016. “Hungry for Change: Urban Bias and Autocratic Sovereign Debt Default.” International Organization (forthcoming).
  • Beaulieu, Emily, Gary W. Cox and Sebastian Saiegh. 2012. “Sovereign Debt and Regime Type: Reconsidering the Democratic Advantage.” International Organization 66 (4): 709-738.
  • Bernhard, William and David Leblang. 2006. Democratic Processes and Financial Markets. Cambridge University Press.
  • Bodea, Cristina and Raymond Hicks. 2015. “International Finance and Central Bank Independence: Institutional Diffusion and the Flow and Cost of Capital.” Journal of Politics 77(1): 268-284.
  • Bradley, Michael, Irving De Lira Salvatierra and Mitu Gulati. 2014. “Lawyers: Gatekeepers of the Sovereign Debt Market?” International Review of Law and Economics (38): 150-168.
  • Brooks, Sarah M., Raphael Cunha and Layna Mosley. 2015. “Categories, Creditworthiness, and Contagion: How Investors’ Shortcuts Affect Sovereign Debt Markets.” International Studies Quarterly 59 (3): 587–601.
  • Enderlein, Henrik, Christoph Trebesch and Laura von Daniels. 2012. “Sovereign Debt Disputes: A Database on Government Coerciveness During Debt Crises.” Journal of International Money and Finance 31(2): 250-266.
  • Hallerberg, Mark, Rolf Strauch and Jürgen von Hagen. 2009. Fiscal Governance: Evidence from Europe. Cambridge University Press.
  • International Monetary Fund. 2014. Revised Guidelines for Public Debt Management. Washington: IMF and World Bank.
  • Kaplan, Stephen and Kaj Thomsson. 2016. “The Political Economy of Sovereign Borrowing: Explaining the Choices of Highly Indebted Countries.” The Journal of Politics (forthcoming).
  • McMenamin, Iain, Michael Breen and Juan Muñoz-Portillo. 2016. “Comparative Politics and Quasi-Rational Markets.” New Political Economy(forthcoming).
  • Melecky, Martin. 2007. “A Cross-Country Analysis of Public Debt Management Strategies.” World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 4287.
  • Missale, Alessandro. 2000. Public Debt Management. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Mosley, Layna. 2003. Global Capital and National Governments. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Stasavage, David. 2011. States of Credit: Size, Power and the Development of European Polities. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011.
  • Tomz, Michael. 2007. Reputation and International Cooperation: Sovereign Debt Across Three Centuries. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Tomz, Michael and Mark L. J. Wright. 2013. “Empirical Research on Sovereign Debt and Default.” Annual Review of Economics 5: 247-272.
  • Weidemaier, Mark C. and Mitu Gulati. 2016. “Sovereign Debt and the ‘Contracts Matter’ Hypothesis.” In Oxford Handbook of Law and Economics, forthcoming.
  • Wolswijk, Guido and Jakob de Haan. 2005. “Public Debt Management in the Euro Area: Recent Theoretical Developments and Changes in Practices.” European Central Bank Occasional Paper Series 25.