Call for Papers

The deadline for applying to present at DebtCon6 was December 15, 2022. The organizing committee will evaluate proposals and notify all those who applied by late January 2023. We also will provide information on attending for non-presenting participants. For those wanting to make arrangements early, the conference will run from mid-day on Thursday, April 27 through early afternoon on Saturday, April 29, 2023, and it will be held on the Princeton University campus.

Join us for the latest DebtCon! A growing number of countries face large and sometimes unsustainable debt burdens. Global interest rates and commodity prices have risen, many currencies are weak relative to the U.S. dollar, and China appears to be reducing its overseas lending activities. Many countries owe funds to a broad array of creditors, official and private.  At the same time, the international architecture for addressing sovereign defaults and effecting sovereign debt restructurings remains incomplete.

DebtCon6 brings together individuals from academia, government, law and finance, allowing for conversations between scholars and practitioners. Many academics study the economic, political and legal aspects of sovereign debt. The first five editions of DebtCon – four in person and one virtual -- have brought together these scholars, establishing the conference as a unique venue for presenting legal, historical and social scientific research on sovereign debt-related issues. DebtCon meetings also provide a venue for discussing the policy implications of academic research. In 2023, we hope to broaden the policy-related conversation with increased participation from practitioners and scholars from the Global South.

The objective of DebtCon6 is to discuss state-of-the-art interdisciplinary research on sovereign debt and related policy issues, and to foster interaction among academics, senior policymakers and supervisors, industry representatives, and other practitioners. As in the past, the 2023 conference will include both high-level roundtables, where practice, policy and research will meet, and parallel sessions, where established as well as emerging scholars will present research papers.

We welcome paper submissions from economists, finance and legal scholars, historians, political scientists, political economists, sociologists and anthropologists working in theoretical and empirical areas related to sovereign debt. We also welcome paper submissions from practitioners working on debt-related issues.  We encourage contributions from emerging scholars and junior policymakers.

Work on a wide range of debt-related topics is welcome. These include, but are by no means limited to:

  • the domestic and international politics of sovereign debt restructuring, including the role of various institutions and initiatives (such as, but not limited to, the G-20’s Common Framework, the Paris Club, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the UN Development Programme).
  • the role of China in the sovereign debt landscape, including lending via policy banks as well as participation in debt restructuring. We also encourage submissions exploring the domestic politics related to lending within creditor countries.
  • the design of national and supranational fiscal rules, as in the European Union, and intended to provide longer-term fiscal and debt sustainability.
  • the linkages – political as well as economic – between debt and domestic financial systems.
  • the causes and consequences of debt transparency, on the part of creditors as well as debtors.
  • the effects of creditor heterogeneity in the sovereign debt space.
  • the various linkages between climate change adaptation and mitigation, on the one hand, and sovereign debt. These include “debt for nature” swaps; natural disaster clauses; the general rise of ESG-focused investment activity; and the intergenerational implications of financial and climate debt.
  • the design and pricing of sovereign debt contracts.
  • the use and effects of instruments such as resource-backed loans and debt-for-land swaps.
  • the structure and operation of debt management offices and operations in the Global South.
  • the impact of debt burdens and debt forgiveness on human rights, civil society and political conflicts.
  • Comparisons between the contemporary period and earlier eras, which may hold important lessons for policymakers as well as for academics.

This is a long but non-exhaustive list. If you’re curious whether your debt-related research fits the remit of DebtCon6, it probably does; but feel free to ask the organizers prior to the submission deadline.


To submit a contribution, please submit an abstract and a full paper by December 15, 2022, using the submission portal. The portal automatically acknowledges each submission; check your spam filter if you do not receive an acknowledgement.

The DebtCon6 Organizing Committee will evaluate all proposals and communicate to each submitting author by January 20, 2023. We also will provide hotel and other logistical information at that time.

DebtCon typically does not reimburse speaker travel expenses. 

We look forward to seeing you in Princeton in April 2023!

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