The Dark Sides of Transnational Cooperation: Tax Avoidance and the Juridification of Global Hierarchies

As the recently revealed transnational practice of tax avoidance have demonstrated, global cooperation—e.g. among multinational corporations, tax havens, offshore banks and internationally operating law firms—is not innocent. Very often, such practice is not illegal but uses complex arrangements of regulatory fragments and gaps. Law is thus not a technique to prevent hierarchies but rather, and quite to the contrary, enabling practice that perpetuates hierarchies on various scales. Critical questions are to be raised on how transnational webs of regulation (or deregulation) come into being, how they are reproduced through ‘law in action,’ and how this constitutes conditions of transnational business practice. Drawing on critical legal theory and new legal realism, the project seeks to scrutinize the transnational nexus of law and cooperation. It will ask: How does transnational legal regulation structure hierarchies both within and across nation-state borders? How do networking actors cooperate to 'capture' national and international regulation? How are complex regulatory fragments and regulatory gaps connected?

Keywords Transnational law, polycentrism, tax avoidance, critical legal studies, legal realism, inequality, global studies

Related Publications Philip Liste (2019) Transnational Law. In Oxford Bibliographies in International Relations. Ed. Patrick James. New York: Oxford University Press.