“The opposite of poverty”: global debt and human rights

O'Donnell, A 2015, “The opposite of poverty”: global debt and human rights, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Global, Urban and Social Sciences, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title “The opposite of poverty”: global debt and human rights
Author(s) O'Donnell, A
Year 2015
Abstract The crisis of unsustainable debt in poor countries that began in the 1970’s has not been resolved despite massive and sustained civil society mobilisations on the issue and the best efforts of International Financial Institutions and Northern governments. As a result of the financial crisis of 2007-08, debt crisis is now a global phenomenon. It is the argument of this thesis that the continued requirement to service unsustainable debt in poor countries forces governments to violate economic and social rights. Furthermore, the democracy, accountability and transparency deficits which plague the infrastructure and processes of the institutions responsible for resolving the crisis are increasingly problematic. Using a critical interpretive approach, this research argues for a human rights approach to debt workout, which places the human person and the environment, rather than the market, at the centrepiece of social arrangements.

This research contends that where governments of poor countries are prioritising the debt-servicing requirement over the satisfaction of core obligations to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, they are in violation of it. It also draws upon Bietz’s (2009) understanding of human rights as a public political practice as a way to conceive of a practical framework within which more expansive problems of global poverty and inequality can be addressed.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Global, Urban and Social Sciences
Subjects Economic Development Policy
History of Economic Thought
Political Science not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Economic
Social and Cultural Rights
Institutions of Global Governance
Unsustainable Debt
International Monetary Fund
World Bank
World Trade Organisation
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Created: Fri, 17 Feb 2017, 09:51:00 EST by Adam Rivett
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