CBS Tax Seminar 3 "Hot off the press" Imposing Standards: the North-South Dimension to Global Tax Politics by Martin Hearson

Convener: Yvette Lind, Assistant professor in tax law at Copenhagen Business School

Tirsdag, 5 april, 2022 - 13:30 to 15:00


In Imposing Standards, Martin Hearson shifts the focus of political rhetoric regarding international tax rules from tax havens and the Global North to the damaging impact of this regime on the Global South. Even when not exploited by tax dodgers, international tax standards place severe limits on the ability of developing countries to tax businesses, denying the Global South access to much-needed revenue. The international rules that allow tax avoidance by multinational corporations have dominated political debate about international tax in the United States and Europe, especially since the global financial crisis of 2007–2008.

Hearson asks how developing countries willingly gave up their right to tax foreign companies, charting their assimilation into an OECD-led regime from the days of early independence to the present day. Based on interviews with treaty negotiators, policymakers and lobbyists, as well as observation at intergovernmental meetings, archival research, and fieldwork in Africa and Asia, Imposing Standards shows that capacity constraints and imperfect negotiation strategies in developing countries were exploited by capital-exporting states, shielding multinationals from taxation and depriving nations in the Global South of revenue they both need and deserve.

The book is available open access and you can download it for free (click here)


Dr Martin Hearson is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, where he is International Tax Programme Lead for the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD). His research focuses on the politics of international business taxation, and in particular the relationship between developed and developing countries. He uses field interviews, archival documentation and novel datasets to study how international tax agreements are negotiated. Before joining ICTD, Martin was a fellow in international political economy at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and before that he spent a decade working in the charity sector. He is the author of “Imposing Standards: The North-South Dimension to Global Tax Politics,” published by Cornell University Press.

External discussant

Tsilly Dagan is Professor of Taxation Law at Oxford University and a Fellow of Worcester College. Professor Dagan’s main fields of research and teaching are tax law and policy (both domestic and international) and the interaction of the state and the market. Her book International Tax Policy: Between Competition and Cooperation (Cambridge University Press) is the winner of the 2017 Frans Vanistendael Award for International Tax Law. Professor Dagan studied law at Tel Aviv University (LL.B., S.J.D.) and New York University (LL.M in Taxation) and joined Bar-Ilan University where she served as Associate Dean for Research as well as Editor-in-Chief of the law review and was appointed the Raoul Wallenberg Professor of Law. Professor Dagan has taught and researched as a scholar in residence at the University of Michigan, University of Western Ontario, and Columbia University, and was a member of the Group on Global Justice at the Institute of Advanced Studies, Jerusalem.

External discussant

Siddhesh Rao is a doctoral researcher at The Institute for Austrian and International Tax Law of Vienna University of Economics and Business. His research focuses on policy issues of money laundering, illicit financial flows, tax and good governance, technology and investment treaties. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and has an LL.M in international tax law from Vienna University of Economics and Business.

Feel free to contact organizer Yvette Lind at

Sidst opdateret: Sekretariat for Ledelse og Kommunikation // 11/07/2023