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Credit ratings and sovereign debt: the political economy of creditworthiness through risk and uncertainty

Paudyn, Bartholomew (2014) Credit ratings and sovereign debt: the political economy of creditworthiness through risk and uncertainty. International Political Economy Series. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK. ISBN 9781137302762

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Identification Number: 10.1057/9781137302779


At the heart of the struggle to constitute the 'politics of limits' – the parameters defining the budgetary realities facing governments – is the growing antagonistic relationship between the imperatives of private (financial) markets and public democracies. Through a new analytical instrumentality, this interdisciplinary account problematizes credit ratings and the problem of sovereign debt to show how the authoritative knowledge underpinning the political economy of creditworthiness is constructed through the deployment of the discursive practices of risk and uncertainty. Unpacking the 'black-box' of sovereign ratings, as a socio-technical device of control and governmentality, we better understand how their authoritative capacity/utility are constituted through their performative effects, which create the conditions and subjectivities that serve to validate and regenerate a disinflationary fiscal normality/rectitude. Political judgment is censured through depoliticizing risk techniques; as a (fallacious) analytics of ratings helps elevate quantitative expertise and relegates competing, qualitative approaches in the design of a neoliberal politics of limits. This exacerbates the asymmetry between epistocracy and democracy, which prompts attempts to reclaim lost fiscal sovereignty.

Item Type: Book
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 Palgrave Macmillan
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2014 09:04
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 21:54

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