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Decolonization and Sovereign Debt: A Quagmire

The phenomenon of State succession is one of the most complex, challenging and politicised areas of international law and policy — covering diverse questions such as membership in international organizations, nationality, state responsibility, treaties, property, debts and state archives. A particularly controversial aspect of decolonization after World War II was its effect on private property. During decolonization after World War II, state succession into debt became torn between the theory of universal succession and the clean-slate theory. The theory of universal succession and the clean-slate theory are extreme positions on a spectrum that came to the fore at the height of decolonisation in the 1960s and 1970s. The tension between two stylizes schools on state succession into debt is the subject of this paper.