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The new politics of global tax governance: What the past tells us about the future of international taxation

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The past decade has revealed that systemic change is underway in the foundations of global tax politics, entangled with changes in global politics at large. States are more aggressive in cracking down on tax havens, and cooperating more effectively through multilateralism. Global power is shifting towards large emerging markets. Media attention and focus on inequality has fueled unprecedented discontent with international tax rules. And the digital economy is ripping historical alliances apart, creating new battles lines in global tax negotiations.

Description: Based on a recently published paper (with Martin Hearson), in this talk I set out how these global trends indicate a radical departure from the stable past of international tax, and how they are shaping ongoing discussions to change the system, at the OECD and beyond. As the international tax system stands at a historical crossroads, finding new balances – on inclusiveness, coherence, and legitimacy – will be key to developing a sustainable international tax system for the future.

Rasmus Corlin Christensen is a political economist at Copenhagen Business School and a research associate at the International Centre for Tax and Development. His research focuses on processes of change in the politics and professional practice of international taxation. He has been recognized as an influential individual in the global tax world, being named to the International Tax Review´s “Global Tax 50” in 2017. You can find him at or @phdskat.


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