Thursday, May 27, 2010
Global economic crisis demonstrates how critical it is for nations to determine ways to solve problems cooperatively. Tax experts have traditionally facilitated cooperation by participating in transnational networks, where they compare ideas and reach consensus on how nations can tax effectively. But while the merits of the norms developed by these tax networks have prompted much scholarly analysis, little is understood about the nature and function of the networks themselves. This Article argues that participants in networks use “soft law” mechanisms such as shared expertise, voluntary cooperation, and emulation to achieve tax policy convergence while preserving national autonomy. It analyzes how networks facilitate this convergence by drawing upon the institutional structure and processes of norm development and by examining evidence of the functionality of networking in U.S. law-making. It concludes that understanding why and how we use networks to produce tax norms is critical to ensure that law-makers have the tools necessary for developing effective national tax policy in a globalized world.