Global taxation, global reform, and collective action

Shmuel Nili*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This article asks how global tax reform relates to other emerging proposals for global economic reform. Specifically, I will try to contribute to the philosophical understanding of this relationship, by comparing global tax reform with a reform seeking to end dictators' trading privileges in their peoples' natural resources. Through this comparison, I intend to establish two main claims. At a concrete, practical level, I hope to show that reform of dictators' resource privilege will be easier to initiate than legal reform against global tax avoidance. Yet the heart of this essay is dedicated to supporting this claim through an argument at a more abstract, methodological level, which intends to make a broader contribution. This argument focuses on a key obstacle facing global taxation reforms, in the form of collective action problems. My key conceptual contribution lies in an attempt to distinguish between two forms of collective action situations (group and rigorist action), arguing that only one of them involves moral collective action problems, while in the other these problems dissolve. I seek to show that this fortunate case obtains for reform of dictators' resource privilege, but not for global tax reform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-103
Number of pages21
JournalMoral Philosophy and Politics
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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