Title

Agency by Analogy: A Comment on Odious Debt

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2007

Keywords

odious debt, sovereign debt

Subject Category

Agency | Law

Abstract

Part of a special issue on odious debts and state corruption. A study was conducted to examine the phenomenon of odious debt from the perspective of common-law agency. Data were obtained from a review of the relevant literature and from the 19th century novel, The Prisoner of Zenda, by Anthony Hope. Findings revealed that the application of the agency doctrine to the problem of sovereign debt poses a number of problems, including identifying the principal within the sovereign-debt context, and the consensual relationship assumed by common-law agency between the principal and the agent. Findings suggested, therefore, that agency doctrine's direct applicability to the odious debt problem is limited. Findings indicated, however, that agency can be useful as a source of analogy. Findings are discussed in detail.