The Global Economic Order
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The Global Economic Order

The International Law and Politics of the Financial and Monetary System

Elli Louka

Exploring in depth the institutions that underpin the global economy, this study provides invaluable insights into why a minimum economic order has endured for so long and why states are unwilling to establish a maximum order, a global safety net for all. The author investigates how debt – a critical component of states’ economic infrastructure – leads to debilitating crises, and how these crises undermine the economic autonomy and political independence of states. 
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Chapter 18: Case study: the Greek debt crisis (2009–2018)

Elli Louka


This chapter examines the Greek debt crisis (2009–2018) as an illustration of the Trilemma: small open market economies cannot pursue an independent economic policy if they have tethered their currency to a fixed exchange rate. Greece is an open market economy that has fixed its exchange rate through the euro. As a result, it could not pursue an independent economic policy when it was faced with one of the worst crises in its history. The sacrifice of national economic autonomy for the preservation of the euro tested the public’s faith in the effectiveness of domestic democratic institutions. Citizens questioned the utility of a national democratic state that could not steer its own economic fate.

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