Proposal preview

Polity and state finance in the peripheries of the global economy

Politics shapes the way governments tax, spend, borrow and repay. In this session, we aim to explore the question of how political systems influenced the way peripheral governments managed their fiscal systems during different waves of globalisation. The mainstream historical literature on state finance assumes that autocratic regimes are less likely to run sustainable accounts and more likely to default on their debt. The “democratic advantage” implies that governments limited by checks and balances such as an independent parliament are more creditworthy. Another stream of literature highlights the importance of political centralisation in the rise of “fiscal states”, which count with permanent bureaucratic bodies to tax and borrow long term. Overall, there is a consensus that political institutions influence the ability and willingness of governments to tax and repay. We aim to explore these ideas by focusing on a range of combinations between polity, credit records and fiscal strength. The session is open to papers on any time range which focus on the peripheries of the global economy. Proposed papers inter alia will explore topics of fiscal policy, long-term patterns of taxation and government spending, political economy of domestic/foreign debt and defaults, and persistence and convergence of fiscal regimes.


  • Ali Coskun Tuncer, University College London,, United Kingdom
  • Leonardo Weller, FGV - Sao Paulo School of Economics,, Brazil

Session members

  • Leticia Arroyo Abad, Middlebury College,
  • D’Maris Coffman, University College London,
  • Giselle Datz, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University,
  • Rui Pedro Esteves, University of Oxford,
  • Edwin Lopez Rivera, University of California, San Diego,
  • Noel Maurer, George Washington University,
  • Michael Pammer, Johannes Kepler University Linz,
  • Helen Paul, University of Southampton,
  • Gail Triner, Rutgers University,
  • Ali Coskun Tuncer, University College London,
  • Leonardo Weller, FGV - Sao Paulo School of Economics,
  • Dong Yan, Yale University,

Proposed discussant(s)

  • Sevket Pamuk, Bogazici University,
  • Tirthankar Roy, London School of Economics,
  • Colin Lewis , London School of Economics,


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