The Public Face of Debt

Yanacopulos, Helen (2004). The Public Face of Debt. Journal of International Development, 16(5) pp. 717–727.



The end of the last century inspired the ‘forgiving’ of an estimated 100 billion dollars of debt from highly indebted southern countries. In this paper we will be exploring the changing norm around debt cancellation—how debt cancellation was turned into something that G7 governments and International Financial Institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund became concerned with. The focus of this paper is on the roles that two organizations played in this process—Oxfam International and Jubilee 2000. The paper utilizes a norm cycle framework to examine how these two organizations influenced the public face of debt.

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