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Politicization and institutional (non-) change in international taxation
[Politisierung und institutioneller (Nicht-)Wandel des internationalen Steuerregimes]

  • Rixen, Thomas

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.

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Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Global Governance with number SP IV 2008-306.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbtci:spiv2008306
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  1. Joel Slemrod & Jon Bakija, 2004. "Taxing Ourselves, 3rd Edition: A Citizen's Guide to the Debate over Taxes," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 3, volume 1, number 026269302x, June.
  2. Rixen, Thomas, 2008. "Politicization and institutional (non-) change in international taxation
    [Politisierung und institutioneller (Nicht-)Wandel des internationalen Steuerregimes]
    ," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Global Governance SP IV 2008-306, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
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