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Technocracy in the Era of Twitter: Between intergovernmentalism and supranational technocratic politics in global tax governance: Between intergovernmentalism and supranational technocratic politics in global tax governance

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/07/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Regulation & Governance
Issue number3
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)634-652
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date14/08/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The international tax system developed as a form of technocratic governance, aimed at facilitating international investment, neglecting provisions for cooperation between national governments for tax enforcement. Its endogenous flaws resulted in its politicization in the 1970s, and again in the 1990s, leading to an increasingly technicized form of global governance. The great financial crisis was even more disruptive and accelerated a shift toward increasingly volatile interactions between the spheres of technocracy and politics. Complex global problems requiring long time‐horizons are dealt with by increasingly narrowly focused technical specialists, dominated by corporatized bureaucracies operating in public‐private symbiosis; while in the sphere of politics, a wider public seeks simple solutions and mistrusts experts, with good reason given the experience of regulatory failures, often due to the capture of regulation by private interests. Instant communication favors opinion‐formers claiming authority, while representative democracy has shifted to “audience representation,” opening the way for demagogue leaders, as well as clientelism and corruption. While the financial crisis opened up possibilities for a paradigm shift in international tax governance, the tensions in both the technocratic and political spheres, as well as the growing gap between them, make it hard to achieve a stable and effective outcome.