International History and Politics
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The Politics of Finance – Creditworthiness, Credibility and Reputation on Global Markets

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In-person: Room S8, Interpetal | Maison de la Paix, Geneve
Onine: Webex Event

An Interdisciplinary Conference at the International History and Politics Department.

The conference is generously supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), sponsor of the research project ‘Business with the Devil? Assessing the Financial Dimension of Authoritarian Regimes in Latin America, 1973-85’. Supporting institutions include the International History Department and the Centre for Finance and Development at the Graduate Institute, Geneva. 

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Registration is required to attend the event. For any inquiries, please contact politicsfinance2020@gmail.com


Conference Organisers

Dr Carlo Edoardo Altamura
Swiss National Science Foundation Ambizione Research Fellow
International History and Politics Department, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies

Dr Seung Woo Kim
Research Fellow
International History and Politics Department, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies





In July 1964, in the aftermath of the military coup which deposed President João Goulart, creditors at the Hague Club approved the Brazilian officials request for rescheduling its debts. The roaring inflation under the left-wing government cost the sympathy of its creditors, who considered the unpopular policy by the new general in power, Castelo Branco, to restore economic order with credit curbs, cuts in state spending and increased taxation with a kindlier eye. As The Economist summarized, “Creditors Prefer Generals”. (The Economist, July 11, 1964). About a decade later, when the Economics Minister of Argentina’s military José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz, came back from his world tour to drum up loans to service the $1.2 billion in loans that came due over the following months, the magazine Euromoney reported that the minister had managed to re-establish in a few months an essential part of Argentina's image: credibility (Euromoney, September 1976). 

As was the case with other developing countries in Latin America and elsewhere, Brazil and Argentina had been largely cut off by foreign creditors during the previous democratic regime, before becoming a hot destination once the military regime that came to power committed to orthodox monetary and fiscal policies. Democracy and international finance were at the crossroads, as these moments have indicated.

This interdisciplinary conference, to be held in a hybridized format (in-person and on-line) at the International History and Politics Department, Graduate Institute Geneva, on June 18th and 19th 2020, invites latest contributions by scholars in Economics, History, Sociology, Political Science and Legal Studies at different career stages to examine critically sovereign creditworthiness, credibility and reputation. In doing so, it attempts to initiative a scholarly dialogue on the political and cultural aspects of banking practices based on ‘trust’, and the relationship between politics and banking. Professor Jeffry Frieden of Harvard University will be a keynote. 



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