The international anti-debt campaign: a Southern activist view for activists in `the North' ... and `the South'

The growing crisis of external indebtedness in the South has become the focus not only of multilateral policy debate, but also the subject of an increasingly vocal international anti-debt campaign, the influence of which was clear at the abortive World Trade Organisation at Seattle in December 1999. Though effective, however, the anti-debt campaign encompasses a range of different positions, which result in diverse strategies and tactics. This paper examines the reasons for and implications of such differences, particularly in relation to North-South solidarity and action, and makes the case for Northern campaigners and lobbyists to take their principal lead from anti-debt groups that are mobilising public opinion in the South. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Advocacy and in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future.