Credit Ratings and Sovereign Debt
The Political Economy of Creditworthiness through Risk and Uncertainty
|Publication Date||June 2014|
|Formats||Hardcover Ebook (PDF) Ebook (EPUB)|
|Series||International Political Economy Series|
At the heart of the struggle to constitute the 'politics of limits' – the parameters defining the budgetary realities facing governments – is the growing antagonistic relationship between the imperatives of private (financial) markets and public democracies. Through a new analytical instrumentality, this interdisciplinary account problematizes credit ratings and the problem of sovereign debt to show how the authoritative knowledge underpinning the political economy of creditworthiness is constructed through the deployment of the discursive practices of risk and uncertainty. Unpacking the 'black-box' of sovereign ratings, as a socio-technical device of control and governmentality, we better understand how their authoritative capacity/utility are constituted through their performative effects, which create the conditions and subjectivities that serve to validate and regenerate a disinflationary fiscal normality/rectitude. Political judgment is censured through depoliticizing risk techniques; as a (fallacious) analytics of ratings helps elevate quantitative expertise and relegates competing, qualitative approaches in the design of a neoliberal politics of limits. This exacerbates the asymmetry between epistocracy and democracy, which prompts attempts to reclaim lost fiscal sovereignty.