On the Contest of Lists and Their Governing Capacities: How ‘Tax Havens’ Became ‘Secrecy Jurisdictions’

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The images connected to geographies of taxation matter as they can become aligned to wider political projects, programs and technologies aimed at shaping and anticipating the future of tax governance. Shaped by the classifications of their designers, such lists operate as technologies of knowledge condensation, comparison, organization and coordination. The metaphor of 'Tax Haven' has dominated the way of representing the problems of tax avoidance and tax evasion since World War II, conveying the well-known image in public blacklisting of small tropical island jurisdictions being the main actors to blame. The extent of willingness to cooperate with the organisation for economic co-operation and development (OECD) to end harmful tax practices led to the adoption of a process by which tax haven jurisdictions were invited to make commitments to eliminate harmful tax practices. The scrutiny and classification of the activities of the listed entities on the basis of preestablished criteria created the organisation for economic co-operation and development lists.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducation by the Numbers and the Making of Society : The Expertise of International Assessments
EditorsSverker Lindblad, Daniel Pettersson, Thomas S. Popkewitz
Number of pages18
Place of PublicationNew York
Publication date2018
ISBN (Print)9781138295827, 9781138295834
ISBN (Electronic)9781351586092, 9781315100432
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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