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Debt, Democracy, Citizenship: A Political History of public debts

Dette, démocratie, citoyenneté. Histoire politique des dettes publiques

Europe, United States, since the late 18th century

Europe, États-Unis, fin XVIIIe-début XXIe siècle

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Published on Tuesday, June 04, 2013 by Elsa Zotian


Organized as a workshop, this symposium aims to explore the public debt as the locus for political debates and conflicts. It brings together case studies analyzing aspects of the link between politics (especially in its social or participative dimensions) and the indebtedness of states. The discussions will help shed new light on such central concepts, for our understanding of the modern political world, as sovereignty, citizenship, democracy, and solidarity.


Symposium organized by Nicolas BARREYRE (EHESS) and Nicolas DELALANDE (Sciences Po)


9h-9:30am: Welcome and introduction (Nicolas Barreyre, Nicolas Delalande)

9:30-10:30am: Public Debt and the Making of Citizenship

  • Patrik Winton (Uppsala Universitet), “Government borrowing and the growth of citizenship in Sweden, 1760-1776”
  • Julia Ott (New School for Social Research), “‘Be a shareholder in victory’: the American citizen-investor in World War I”

11am-12pm: The State and Financial Markets

  • Benjamin Lemoine (Sciences Po) and Roi Livne (Berkeley University), “Public debt management techniques and the making of state agency. France, Israel and the financialization of government debts”
  • Noam Maggor (Vanderbilt University), “The ‘money machines’ revisited: urban public finance in the era of property taxation”

12-12:30pm: General discussion

2-3pm: Democracy, Authoritarianism and Public Debt

  • Stephen Sawyer (American University of Paris), “Building the Liberal Democratic State in Republican France: Adolphe Thiers and the Fiscal Construction of the Early Third Republic”
  • Adam Tooze (Yale University), “Hitler’s Third Reich and the puzzle of authoritarian public debt”

3-4pm: Foreign Bondholders and National Sovereignty

  • Robert Radu (Rostock Universität), “Public debts and public opinion. The role of the European Press in Italy’s late nineteenth century financial crisis (1889-1894)”
  • Tassos Anastassiadis (McGill University), “It’s all Greek to me! Foreign actors’ perceptions of elites and democratic governance while dealing with debt control in three Greek crises (1898, 1922, 1947)”

4:30-5:30pm: Conclusion

  • Nicolas Barreyre et Nicolas Delalande: “For a political history of public debts: Where are we at?”


  • Sciences Po, salle Jean Monnet - 56 rue Jacob
    Paris, France (75006)


  • Monday, June 24, 2013


  • dette publique, citoyenneté, souveraineté, démocratie, rentier, emprunt, emprunt de guerre


  • Nicolas Barreyre
    courriel : nicolas [dot] barreyre [at] ehess [dot] fr

Information source

  • Nicolas Barreyre
    courriel : nicolas [dot] barreyre [at] ehess [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« Debt, Democracy, Citizenship: A Political History of public debts », Study days, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, June 04, 2013, https://calenda.org/251890

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