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Title: Debt as power : public finance and monetary governance in postwar Britain
Author: Dutta, Sahil Jai
ISNI:       0000 0004 6350 1726
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2017
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It is often thought that a state dependent on debt is in a vulnerable position. But Britain has long been such a 'debt state'. Since the seventeenth century Financial Revolution and the foundation of the Bank of England, the state has amassed levels of debt it could never realistically repay. Far from a burden, the ability to issue its debt as a form of money has been the basis of great power. It provided the state a readily accessible pool of financing and established a monetary infrastructure through which it could govern the broader economy. For that reason, this thesis claims that the British state has never been a passive recipient of creditor agendas when it raised public finance. This provides a different perspective on the development of monetary governance in postwar Britain and in particular the period of transition from Keynesian to neoliberal techniques of governance in the 1970s and 1980s. This is a time often discussed in terms of the British state ceding power to financial markets as it strived for the 'credibility' necessary to support its growing public debt. Instead, this thesis shows how the imposition of monetary targets and neoliberal financial reform were attempts by the state to enhance its capacity to manage liquidity across the British economy. While debt is often assumed to be a problem for the state, this thesis instead shows how debt is a form of state power.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HJ1001 Great Britain. General works ; HJ8001 Public debts