Spring 2007 (Issue 21.1)


How should governments decide when and how much to borrow? What are the responsibilities of official, multilateral, and private creditors that lend to governments? Who should bear which risks? When debt crises occur, how should they be resolved? What makes processes of debt restructuring, debt cancellation, or the enforcement of debt contracts more or less just, or the outcomes of such processes better or worse?

The essays in this special issue of Ethics & International Affairs contribute to these pressing policy debates, but also take a step back from the political fray to examine some more fundamental considerations that seem relevant to assessing the fairness of current arrangements related to sovereign debt contracts and alternatives that might be proposed to them.


Introduction: The Players and the Game of Sovereign Debt
Barry Herman

International Debt: The Constructive Implications of Some Moral Mathematics
Sanjay G. Reddy

The Due Diligence Model: A New Approach to the Problem of Odious Debts
Jonathan Shafter

National Responsibility and the Just Distribution of Debt Relief
Alexander W. Cappelen, Rune Jansen Hagen, and Bertil Tungodden

Risks of Lending and Liability to Others
Kunibert Raffer

Making the Case for Jubilee: The Catholic Church and the Poor-Country Debt Movement
Elizabeth A. Donnelly

Argentina, the Church, and the Debt
Thomas J. Trebat