Published online by Cambridge University Press: 25 November 2019
This chapter outlines the historical development of international governance of corporate taxation. It analyses whether intergovernmental cooperation has invigorated or countervailed the adverse consequences of economic globalisation. In essence, it explores whether international tax governance has endeavoured to constrain or safeguard states’ capacities to tax. On the one hand, the chapter examines how international co-operation started with efforts to eliminate double tax burdens and was motivated by the aspiration of constructing a transnational market order. On the other, it depicts how later phases of international tax governance have been sparked by the need to contain harmful tax competition and international tax avoidance, which have been experienced as undesired outcomes of untrammelled globalisation. The chapter concludes that although corporate taxation has increasingly become an issue of international governance, corporate tax base design and tax rate setting have substantially remained beyond international constraints, leaving room for tax competition and tax avoidance.