Politicization and Institutional (Non-) Change in International Taxation
WZB Discussion Paper, SP IV 2008-306
34 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2009
Date Written: September 12, 2009
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: Suggested Citation