Carvalho, Gustavo



Email Address


International Relations


Political Theory


Steven Bernstein

Carvalho, Gustavo


There and Back There Again (and again and again): The Politics of Sovereign Debt for Brazil from 1890 to the 1980s


Gustavo was born in Brazil, where he graduated in Law from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Before moving into academia, he worked for more than 6 years as the in-house legal counsel for a Brazilian hedge fund and asset management company. Inspired by his professional experience, Gustavo pursued a MA in International Relations at the International Relation Institute at the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, where he wrote his master thesis on the Sovereign Debt Restructuring Mechanism (SDRM) proposed in the wake of the Argentinian default by then IMF First Deputy Managing Director Anne Krueger. For his PhD dissertation, Gustavo conducted three qualitative case studies of past Brazilian moratoria and debt renegotiations – the Funding Loans of 1898 and 1931, and the moratorium of 1983. Based on his findings, he argues that the literature on sovereign debt fails to acknowledge that structural factors such as capital and trade flows are crucial for the solvency of developing sovereign debtors. As such, defaults and moratoria are better understood as reactions to the scarcity of capital at the international level and not as opportunistic strategies adopted by utility-maximizing politicians who want to avoid the costs associated with repayment, as it is usually proposed. Moreover, he argues that the literature on sovereign debt also fails to acknowledge that creditors and debtors may cooperate by means of debt restructuring processes that are not zero-sum.


“Soft Power, Hard Aspirations: the Shifting Role of Power in Brazilian Foreign Policy”, Brazilian Political Science Review 8:3, 66-94, 2014 (with Marcelo Mello Valença).
– “Rejoinder to ‘Misusing Virtual Worlds Can Be Dangerous’”, International Studies Perspectives 15:4, 564-565, 2014.
– “Virtual Worlds Can Be Dangerous: Using Ready-made Computer Simulations for Teaching International Relations”, International Studies Perspectives, 15:4, 538-557, 2014.
– “Before and After Borders: The Nomadic Challenge to Sovereign Territoriality”, International Politics 51:1, 101-123 (with Joseph McKay, Jamie Levin, Kristin Cavoukian, and Ross Cutberth), 2014.
– “Autonomia e Relevância dos Regimes” (The Autonomy and Relevance of International Regimes), Contexto Internacional (International Relations Institute, PUC-RJ), 27:2, 283-329, 2005.

Research Interests

– International Political Economy
– International Politics and International Relations theory
– The politics of international finance, sovereign debt, and international financial markets
– Normative issues related to the global economy
– Brazilian foreign policy
– Latin American politics and foreign policy
– Active Learning, specially the use of simulations for teaching IR and IPE