The Chair

The Sciences Po Chair in Sovereign Debt aims to provide leading expertise on government finance, constituting a unique academic reference point on public debt issues.

More than ever, sovereign debt occupies central stage in the news and in the policy debate. While public debt levels are at historic highs globally, the creditor landscape has become more diverse and debt structures have often grown more complex. In this context, new challenges arise in tracking debt vulnerabilities, assessing sustainability, managing debt distress and ensuring orderly workouts. Moreover, in times of much needed government interventions, important issues arise on how to best harness international capital markets to support optimal fiscal policies and foster welfare-improving public investments. In order to address these challenges, it is essential to understand the sovereign debt world and its evolution, analyze current situations, critically review policy options, and generate new ideas. Such is the premise that led to the creation of the Chair in Sovereign Debt.

The Chair was inaugurated in November 2019 in the presence of Former Prime Minister of Greece Aléxis Tsípras. Attached to the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences Po, it is located a stone’s throw away from the “Paris Club” – which has long served as the main forum for the restructuring of official bilateral debt claims.

The chair’s activities are organized around three axes: teaching, research, and events. In particular, the Chair coordinates master-level courses based on case studies, featuring academics, practitioners, and policy makers as guest speakers. Following its inaugural conference, the Chair held its first online event on the Lebanese crisis in July 2020. The Chair’s blog was launched in November 2020 to actively contribute to the debates and discussions on sovereign debt.

The Chair is governed by a scientific committee and a steering committee, and is funded by a unique sponsor, Global Sovereign Advisory.