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Part II Predominant Security Challenges and International Law, Economic and Resource Security, Ch.26 Financial Crises

Jasper Finke

From: The Oxford Handbook of the International Law of Global Security

Edited By: Robin Geiß, Nils Melzer

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 20 May 2024

International trade

This chapter evaluates the possible impacts of financial crises, which can be devastating. Prolonged economic recessions or depressions impede the State’s ability to provide public goods. Especially sovereign debt crises force States to reduce public spending, which requires cuts in the public health and education system, a decrease in social welfare benefits generally, lower salaries and pensions for public employees, and fewer public employees. Both a decline in public safety and higher poverty rates can cause mass migration, which can destabilize neighbouring States or even entire regions. While financial crises do not necessarily have all these consequences, they do have a destructive potential beyond the individual State. It might therefore be unsurprising to learn that one can observe structural and conceptual similarities in how States respond to situations that are more broadly perceived as security crises and financial crises. The chapter then demonstrates how an ‘emergency mindset’ is present in debates on what role law has played and should play in responding to financial crises. It considers two case-studies to illustrate the presence of an ‘emergency mindset’ in such situations that is conceptually similar to traditional security crises: the 2008 global financial crisis and the still unresolved multilevel financial crisis in the Eurozone.

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