Sovereign risk and financial crises play a key role in current international economic developments, particularly in the case of economic downturns. As the Asian economic crisis in the late 1990s revealed once again, financial crises are the rule rather than the exception in capitalist economies. The event also revealed that international public debt agreements are contingent claims. In a world of increasing economic interdependencies, the issues of financial crises and country defaults are of critical importance. This volume goes to the heart of the academic discussion on sovereign risk and financial crises by centering on quantitative-empirical aspects, evaluating prominent approaches, and by proposing new methods. Part I of the volume identifies key factors and processes that are central in analyzing sovereign risk while Part II focuses on the determinants and effects of financial crises.