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Reputation and International Cooperation Sovereign Debt across Three Centuries by Michael Tomz
  

Reputation and International Cooperation Sovereign Debt across Three Centuries

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Synopsis

Reputation and International Cooperation Sovereign Debt across Three Centuries by Michael Tomz

How does cooperation emerge in a condition of international anarchy? Michael Tomz sheds new light on this fundamental question through a study of international debt across three centuries. Tomz develops a reputational theory of cooperation between sovereign governments and foreign investors. He explains how governments acquire reputations in the eyes of investors, and argues that concerns about reputation sustain international lending and repayment. Tomz's theory generates novel predictions about the dynamics of cooperation: how investors treat first-time borrowers, how access to credit evolves as debtors become more seasoned, and how countries ascend and descend the reputational ladder by acting contrary to investors' expectations. Tomz systematically tests his theory and the leading alternatives across three centuries of financial history. His remarkable data, gathered from archives in nine countries, cover all sovereign borrowers. He deftly combines statistical methods, case studies, and content analysis to scrutinize theories from as many angles as possible. Tomz finds strong support for his reputational theory while challenging prevailing views about sovereign debt. His pathbreaking study shows that, across the centuries, reputations have guided lending and repayment in consistent ways. Moreover, Tomz uncovers surprisingly little evidence of punitive enforcement strategies. Creditors have not compelled borrowers to repay by threatening military retaliation, imposing trade sanctions, or colluding to deprive defaulters of future loans. He concludes by highlighting the implications of his reputational logic for areas beyond sovereign debt, further advancing our understanding of the puzzle of cooperation under anarchy.

Reviews

Winner of the 2008 Giovanni Sartori Award, for the Best Book Developing or Applying Qualitative Methods Published in 2007 In an extraordinarily well-researched and very interesting book on the not so interesting subject of sovereign debt, Michael Tomz shows that contrary to popular belief and several dominant theories, states do now and have always cared about their international financial reputations. --Anastasia Xenias, Political Science Quarterly Tomz has gathered a large amount of quantitative and qualitative historical evidence from archives and libraries in nine countries. International historians can benefit both from reading his case studies and from thinking about the role of market forces in international relations in the light of his theory on sovereign debt. --G.C. Peden, The International History Review


About the Author

Michael Tomz is assistant professor of political science at Stanford University.

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Book Info

Publication date

13th August 2007

Author

Michael Tomz

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Publisher

Princeton University Press

Format

Paperback
328 pages

Categories

Comparative politics
International relations

ISBN

9780691134697

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