Dominic Brown will discuss the strategies being proposed by popular movements in the Global South to confront their debt. He will reflect on current movements and their demands from a historical perspective with a focus on South Africa – his home country. Brown will demonstrate how debt issuance in the Global South is often used to implement neoliberal and austerity policies, and discuss how this tendency can be stopped from the bottom up.
Is there a perspective for collective opposition from the side of ‘Southern’ countries towards the new debt crisis that is looming now that the pandemic is locking down economies? To what extent do the current campaigns build on the former ones? What lessons can be drawn from the Jubilee 2000 Debt Cancellation Campaign? How does the issue of debt connect to other issues, such as inequality and poverty? And how does debt unite different social struggles? Which theory of change underlies all these movements that fight for global justice and redistribute change?
Dominic Brown is Economic Justice Programme Manager at the Alternative Information & Development Centre (AIDC). AIDC was formed in 1996 in response to the democratic transition in South Africa and the new opportunities and challenges it brought those seeking greater social justice within the democracy.
Over the years AIDC has played a leading role in various civil society responses to ongoing inequality including facilitating the launch and building of the South African Jubilee 2000 debt cancellation campaign, and the Right to Work Campaign.
In this series, we discuss the field of debt crises in the ‘developing world’, and the different aspects that determine the subordinate economic and financial position of the Global South and why this matters. Has anything changed since the 1980s debt crises when a global movement called for a debt jubilee? What are the prospects for change? And how can these kinds of debt crises be prevented in future?