Human Development Advocacy for Debt Relief, Aid, and Governance

Northover, Henry

This chapter looks at some of the policy positions that underpinned the Jubilee 2000 campaign. While the arguments of debt campaigners were, at the time, dismissed as the politics of naïve idealists, they soon became part of the new realism in official debt policy. How did this shift come about? And, going forward, what are the key features that can usefully inform official aid and debt policy frameworks? The impulse behind the international Jubilee 2000 campaign was fundamentally one of social justice. In the UK, where the campaign first began, it was driven mostly by the Churches and faith-based aid agencies moved by moral and ethical considerations. It was about bringing to an end the perceived global economic injustice of those in developing countries with the least resources, saddled with unpayable debts, having their development prospects thwarted by the diversion of scarce resources to those in the developed world that already had the most. The imagery drawn on in some of the campaign's earliest publications was of a bonded servitude, enslavement to an unjust economic order.3 While its moral call was grounded in some analysis of the flows of finance from the world's poorest countries to the world's richest creditors, it was essentially very much a campaign driven by moral imperatives.


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Initiative for Policy Dialogue
Initiative for Policy Dialogue
Initiative for Policy Dialogue Working Paper Series
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February 3, 2010


The opinions expressed in these papers represent those of the author(s) and not The Initiative for Policy Dialogue. These papers are unpublished and have not been peer reviewed. Please do not cite without explicit permission from the author(s).