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Chapter

Cover I-PEEL: The International Political Economy of Everyday Life

4. Debt  

This chapter focuses on the key themes of money and finance in international political economy (IPE) analysis. It describes the concepts of commodification, assetization, and financialization, and how they apply to the case of student debt. In many countries, borrowing money to pay for tuition fees and living costs is an expected part of going to university. Thinking about the emergence of personal indebtedness in the higher education system helps to foreground the international political economy of debt. The chapter then turns to other kinds of debt, including sovereign debt and household debt, and considers the reasons why people go into debt and why debts are repaid (or not). Using Islamic finance as a case study, it looks at alternatives to debt, such as non-conditional grants and risk-sharing contracts. Finally, the chapter reflects on the moral and power dynamics that underpin interest-bearing loans, as well as demands for debt cancellation.

Book

Cover I-PEEL: The International Political Economy of Everyday Life

James Brassett, Juanita Elias, Lena Rethel, and Ben Richardson

I-PEEL: The International Political Economy of Everyday Life locates the study of international political economy (IPE) in the context of everyday life. It provides a fresh introduction to IPE, and highlights the relevance and prominence of IPE in the real world. In addition, the text establishes the conceptual and theoretical techniques required to engage with the IPE discipline and how those can help us understand the complexity of everyday power relations. Also, it prompts ethical self-reflection by asking if everyday economic relations are ‘right’ or ‘good’. The text starts off with an introduction to the topic. The first main chapter considers clothes. The next few chapters cover food, debt, and care. After that comes a chapter that looks at the concept of the ‘city’, followed by social media. The last two chapters present the idea of ‘share’ and humour. They are followed by a Conclusion.