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This chapter reviews the first six years of implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a major Chinese foreign policy initiative introduced in 2013. The authors explain how China’s transition from benefactor to banker, in con- junction with its push for expanded influence on the global stage, led to the adoption of the BRI. They then consider whether and why China might choose to ‘multilateralize’ the BRI. The authors conclude that if Beijing wants to multilateralize the BRI, it will need to either comply with—or help redesign— international development finance rules and standards. At the same time, the establishment of an inclusive and revitalized development finance regime does not rest solely on the shoulders of Beijing. If OECD-DAC and multilateral donors and creditors wish to avert a crisis of confidence and relevance, they will need to rewrite international development finance rules and norms in ways that accommodate Beijing’s interests and more effectively account for the preferences of low-income and middle-income countries.
This chapter introduces the central argument of the book: that China’s 21st- century transition from a “benefactor” to a “banker” has had far-reaching im- pacts in low-income and middle-income countries that are not yet widely understood. Beijing’s growing use of debt rather than aid to bankroll big-ticket infrastructure projects has created new opportunities for developing countries to achieve rapid socioeconomic gains, but it has also introduced major risks, including corruption, conflict, and environmental degradation. Some countries are more effective than others at managing these risks and rewards. This chapter “zooms in” on two countries—Sri Lanka and Tanzania—to illustrate the tension between efficacy and safety confronted by developing countries banking on Chinese development finance. It also provides a roadmap for the rest of the book.
The dataset introduced in this book includes thousands of Chinese government- financed development projects. This chapter begins to analyze these data at the cross-national level and addresses a basic question: Which types of projects does China finance around the world? We provide a detailed overview of the allocation of Chinese development finance based on key variables such as destination countries, flow types (such as grants, loans, technical assistance, debt forgiveness, or sectors). The dataset enables us to distinguish between Chinese-financed aid and debt, and this distinction reveals that China’s donor-to-banker shift occurred in the 2000s following the implementation of the “Going Out” strategy. More generally, this chapter uses our new dataset to demonstrate the value of separating out aid and debt projects and show how different countries have different experiences receiving Chinese projects. In providing readers with an aerial global view of the “known universe” of China’s international development finance projects since 2000, the chapter also situates China’s development finance in the context of that of other major donors.
Karl Mannheim, who lectured at Dartington in 1941, argued that utopias are always in dialectical tension with the existing order; for all their ‘incongruity’ with the status quo, they remain deeply embedded within a ‘historically specific social life’. The fortunes of Dartington from its foundation to the present day exemplify the messy vitality of the exchange with the real world promised in Mannheim’s formulation. The estate offered countercultural alternatives. Yet its founders were determined that it would develop in symbiosis with the wider world rather than ‘preparing for some hypothetical community’ of the future. Dartington’s communion with the outside world was increased by the international collaborators with whom the Elmhirsts engaged in pursuing their ideal of promoting a unified life. This chapter looks at how, in the ninety-odd years since its foundation, Dartington has offered a reconfigured vision of the outside world, while being both sustained and constrained by this larger environment.
As infrastructure development has become a key ingredient in Africa–China relations, the role of African governments in co-determining the design, funding and governance of the continent's infrastructures has come under close scrutiny. This article sheds light on the rehabilitation of a symbol of Sino–African friendship: the Tanzania–Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA). Employing Jessop's strategic-relational approach, it is shown that the strategies of the shareholding governments in the negotiations with a Chinese consortium were informed by strategic learning from previous railway privatisations, corresponding cost–benefit analyses and reflection about Chinese commercial interests. Zambia's indebtedness and Tanzania's autocratic developmental state under President Magufuli formed crucial elements of the structural context in which the fate of Africa's Freedom Railway was negotiated. The article transcends both crudely structuralist accounts of a supposedly all-powerful China and voluntarist conceptions of African agency that are void of structure. Assessing (African) agency requires analytical sensitivity towards the dialectical interaction between specific strategic capacities and strategically selective political–economic contexts.
As research over the past few decades, including the studies in this volume, has revealed, there is ample evidence indicating that a vibrant market economy, including highly specialized cash-crop farming, was practiced for sustained periods of time in certain parts of China from the northeastern and southeastern coasts to the Yangzi river delta and valley to the north China plain and the Shanxi plateau between the year 1000 and 1800. This chapter is concerned with the question whether the legal framework of imperial China facilitated or hindered the development of China’s market economy during this period.
Imperial China was largely an agrarian society. Alongside the widespread agricultural activity came the long and winding history of landownership that eventually saw the legal protection of private property rights in land during the Song dynasty (960–1279), which helped regulate economic activity more effectively. The law was highly relevant to the lives of the farming population, as it required the legal establishment of landownership as well as land transfers to family members and non-family members in order to sustain continuity and development in agriculture.
The integrity and durability of the Chinese empire over two millennia rested on the strength of its fiscal capacity. From antiquity, sovereignty was linked to the ruler’s duty to provide for the economic as well as moral welfare of his subjects. Rulers of the Bronze Age manifested and reproduced their authority through distribution of wealth among their kinsmen and noble allies. The autocratic monarchs who rose to dominance after 500 bce amassed wealth to buttress their military prowess, but they also strove to protect the independence and livelihood of the smallholder family farmers who undergirded their economic prosperity. The institutional apparatus of the fiscal state – centralized planning of taxation and expenditure to satisfy the state’s commitments to good governance – became a defining feature of the first empires, beginning with the Qin dynasty (221–206 bce). Yet at the same time the rise of a market economy also shaped the relationship between the state and its subjects. Even the command economy instituted by the Qin Empire made accommodations to markets, merchants, and money.
This Chapter provides an illustration of the trends and dynamics discussed in the previous chapters through a comprehensive and contextualised examination of the specific, but paradigmatic, Greek debt crisis, arguing that, in this case as well, both the responses devised by national and supranational institutions, and their scrutiny by some human rights monitoring bodies in particular, seem to reflect an increasingly neoliberalised conception of human rights and of the debt-ESR relationship
This Chapter provides a general definition of sovereign debt, and illustrates the trend, dating back to the 1970s, of rising global public indebtedness, including in advanced economies, to reflect on the actual role of debt in the current global economic system. It then analyses the main elements of the post-crisis reform of the legal framework for economic and fiscal policy making in the European Economic and Monetary Union (a reform linked, inter alia, to the intensified need to subject the fiscal conduct of increasingly indebted states to stricter controls), and discusses how these seem to evidence the increased neoliberalisation of EU economic governance.
This Chapter critically reviews the existing international law on economic ad social rights, namely the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and it outlines existing standards on sovereign debt and human rights. Considering the surviving peculiarities of the ICESCR (due, inter alia, to the historical contingencies that influenced its elaboration in the 1950s-60s) and the nature of the economic and fiscal policy measures that have been generally recommended over the years by its monitoring body, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), this Chapter challenges the purported economic neutrality of the Covenant (and, more generally, of the international ESR regime) as currently interpreted. Furthermore, it highlights the increased influence of neoliberalism on this legal framework’s post-crisis developments, especially the more recent (re)interpretation by the CESCR of the prohibition of retrogressive measures.
This book offers a distinctive critical discussion of the relationship between sovereign debt and socio-economic human rights in the context of the contemporary global neoliberal economic order, going beyond strictly 'post-crisis' approaches and emphasising the structural character and consistent growth of public and private indebtedness. It reflects on the implications of mounting debt for the actual ability of States to realise human rights in a world of escalating indebtedness, inequality and insecurity. It expands existing definitions of neoliberalism by reflecting in particular on neoliberalism's epistemological underpinnings, and provides a comprehensive and systematic analysis of the 2009 Greek debt crisis and the main elements of post-crisis developments in international and EU law, arguing that the 'neoliberalisation of law' has essentially been advanced in the wake of the Eurozone debt crisis.
This Chapter reviews and summarises the findings of the previous chapters, and it offers some concluding remarks on the shortcomings and future prospects of an increasingly neoliberalised international law.
This is the second of two articles about cases in which awards of “mesne profits” have been made against defendants who have occupied claimants’ land. The first article argues that the facts of cases where such awards have been made variously support claims in tort, contract or unjust enrichment and that practical consequences can flow from categorising the cases in one way or another. One is that different rules affect the assessment of remedies awarded to claimants depending on the claim that was made and the remedy that was awarded. The present article develops this point by examining the assessment principles governing “mesne profits” awards, according to whether these are classified as compensatory damages in tort, restitutionary damages in tort, orders that a defendant perform a contractual duty to pay a debt, compensatory damages for breach of contract, or orders that a defendant make restitution of an unjust enrichment.
This chapter turns to the experiences of the laity when they found themselves in ecclesiastical courts in disputes over marriage, wills and burial, disorderly behaviour, or unacceptable use of language: speech crimes: brawling, defamation and blasphemy. It looks at examples of the costs and consequences to the laity of finding themselves in ecclesiastical courts, and the role of the debtors’ prisons.
If economics focuses on price representing value, we now shift to finance, which focuses on the connection of risk and return. We begin with the story of Wynn Kramarsky, a collector of works on paper (with his wife Sarah-Ann). Kramarsky’s parents had also owned Vincent van Gogh’s Portrait of Dr. Gachet. We go through a market primer including terminology of asset allocation and the logic of discounting cash flows and performing net present value analysis. We then review art market studies that use repeat sales and hedonic regression methods. The questions of this chapter try to connect the ephemeral, risk-taking, deeply uncertain work that happens in artists’ studios and to track the artwork from there to its status as part of an asset class.
This chapter offers some empirical support to a main claim in the book, namely that the capacity of the English state was higher than that of France, by examining the typical indicator of capacity, taxation. It focuses particularly on the fiscal burden of the nobility, to show that it was relatively heavy, especially if debt is also considered. Once compelled to contribute to taxation, the English nobility had greater incentives to participate in the institution where it was negotiated, as well as to accept its extension over the broader population. By contrast, the fate of the French Estates-General moved in tandem with the taxation of the nobility; when noble fiscal privileges were consolidated, the institution declined. The chapter also provides comparative data of both fiscal and military extraction, to support the claim of greater infrastructural capacity of the English crown.
Chapter 7 assesses the cost and bene?ts of China’s commercial conditionality by employing extensive qualitative evidence, including more than 200 interviews with Chinese creditors and Latin American debtors, and in some cases, examining the original loan contracts. This chapter also evaluates the extent to which China can foster good governance and sustainable development without policy conditionality. For example, these loan provisions, which typically involve some combination of Chinese foreign content and commodity guarantees, are designed to improve the global competitiveness of Chinese ?rms. However, they may also impose costs on Latin American countries. Preferential treatment for Chinese capital inputs and machinery may undermine Latin America’s industrial competitiveness. At the same time, commodity guarantees embedded in loans-for-oil agreements risk eroding commodity proceeds that could otherwise be channeled toward domestic spending or reinvestment in state energy ?rms. Perhaps most important, China’s tendency to focus on commercial rather than policy terms may encourage governments to spend beyond their means, catalyzing future debt problems.
Chapter 5 studies the two principal avenues of acquiring freedom available during gradual emancipation rule in the northern Pacific lowlands: self-purchase for enslaved and Free Womb captives, and public manumissions administered by the new manumission juntas. As Claudia Leal argues, “the Pacific coast of Colombia stands out for being—in all likelihood—the place in the Americas where self-purchase accounts for the largest percentage of manumissions.” This popular practice continued during gradual emancipation, giving rise to a debt-ridden moral economy of familial self-purchase embedded in the northern Pacific lowland gold industry. In the rest of the chapter, I argue that the public manumissions performed by the juntas, while they transformed the political culture and meaning of manumission as a public good in Colombia, fundamentally retained the disciplining logic of the slaveholding order. In fact, a close analysis of the juntas’ finances reveals how they repackaged self-purchase as manumission, thereby erasing the lowland’s long legacy of black self-purchase.
Between June 1959 and March 1964, the democratic governments of Brazilian presidents Juscelino Kubitschek (January 1956 – January 1961), Janio Quadros (January–August 1961), Ranieri Mazzilli (August–September 1961) and João ‘Jango’ Goulart (September 1961 – April 1964) received no support from the World Bank (WB), which refused to fund even a single new project during this period. During this same period, and, more specifically, between July 1958 and January 1965, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the WB's twin institution, granted financial assistance to Brazil only twice: a controversial and highly conditional Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) signed in May 1961; and a non-conditional and automatically approved Compensatory Financial Facility (CFF), granted in May 1963 to compensate Brazil for the decrease in coffee prices on the international market.
This attitude towards Brazil changed significantly following the military coup of March 1964. Money flowed into the country and by 1970 Brazil had become the largest receiver of WB funds and a chronic borrower from the IMF, signing two SBAs in 1965, and one per year between 1966 and 1972. We use recently disclosed material from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank archives to analyse the relationship of these two institutions with Brazil and to foster the debate on their political neutrality, arguing that the difference in the IMF's and especially the WB's relations with the military regime reflected, more than anything else, the existence of an ideological affinity between the parties with regards to the ‘right’ economic policy.
This chapter explores how debt shaped the Asian American subject, most notably through its creation of the model minority subject. It argues that debt, a fundamental aspect of neoliberalism, structured the racialization of Asian Americans; this facilitated the production of the model minority as the exemplary neoliberal subject, characterized by acceptance of human capitalization and independence from the public sector through “resilience.” Surveying Asian American literature from 1965 to 1996, this chapter examines the role that debt played in the historical patterns and processes of Asian migration to the United States that tied the racialization of Asian Americans to their economic contributions and value. Moving beyond the more explicit connections between migration and debt, the chapter illustrates how ideas of debt and indebtedness manifest and structure conceptions of nationalism in the Asian American subject and family; the ability to immigrate inherently incurs indebtedness to the nation as well as to one’s parents who chose to immigrate. Thus, the concept of filial piety is reframed, showing that it is not a result of ancestry, but a function of immigration to America.