Politicization and Institutional (Non-) Change in International Taxation

WZB Discussion Paper, SP IV 2008-306

34 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2009

See all articles by Thomas Rixen

Thomas Rixen

University of Bamberg - Department of Political Science

Date Written: September 12, 2009

Abstract

This paper explores the institutional changes of international tax governance in response to growing politicization and contestation of international direct tax issues. I show that politicization – which is a very recent phenomenon in international taxation – results from a governance gap. The traditional setup of international tax cooperation has an unintended consequence in the form of harmful tax competition. In reaction to this problem, civil society groups have begun to question the effectiveness and fairness of the minimal international tax order, lobbying national governments and international organizations for more effective international regulation of tax issues. Thus, in contrast to existing hypotheses, societal politicization does not result from the increasing scope and authority of international institutions, but rather from the lack thereof. However, civil society demands have so far not led to institutional changes in international taxation. Instead, we can only observe indirect and incremental change, which falls short of what would ultimately be needed to address harmful tax competition effectively.

Keywords: global governance, international taxation, politicization, civil society

Suggested Citation

Rixen, Thomas, Politicization and Institutional (Non-) Change in International Taxation (September 12, 2009). WZB Discussion Paper, SP IV 2008-306, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1488058 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1488058

Thomas Rixen (Contact Author)

University of Bamberg - Department of Political Science ( email )

Feldkirchenstrasse 21
96045 Bamberg
Germany

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