May 17, 2021
11 am EST
“The Local Dimension of Global Finance: Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Global Debt Crisis of the 1980s.”
Lukas Dovern, Lecturer, Department of History, Stanford University
Matthew Nestler, Ph.D. Candidate in History, Department of History, Stanford University
Lukas Dovern teaches modern European history and the history of international relations at Stanford University. His research explores how financial globalization affected the course of the Cold War. Within Europe, he focuses in particular on Germany and Poland. Matthew Nestler is a PhD candidate in history at Stanford University. He is currently writing his dissertation, provisionally titled “Inflation and Inequality in Urban Brazil, 1944–1978.”
This collaborative paper compares state socialist Eastern Europe’s debt problems of the early 1980s to those of Latin America during the same time period. The comparative approach encourages a truly global perspective, which results in explanations for the economic woes of both regions that go beyond domestic policies. Instead, similarities between the two crises help to identify causes rooted in the decisions made by creditors. This paper recasts two narratives about socialist mismanagement and the struggle of a less-developed region, respectively, into a single story about the power of global finance.