Diane Ring


This Article begins the process of mapping the inquiry into the role of international organizations in tax policy. It identifies four basic questions that must be addressed and specifies the more sophisticated inquiries that must then be undertaken. This Article commences the empirical examination through two case studies: one regarding inclusion of a mandatory arbitration clause in the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (“OECD”) Model Tax Convention on Income and Capital, and one regarding recent international efforts to curb “harmful” tax competition. Part I outlines the rising importance of international tax matters and the reasons that international organizations are likely to be exerting some measure of influence on policy. Part II, drawing upon the current literature on international organizations and their operations, designs a research agenda to reveal the influence that international organizations hold over tax policy. As Part II discusses in greater detail, this inquiry is not monolithic. Instead it recognizes the multiplicity of forums for international tax discussions and the varying ways in which participants use them. Part III then turns to the two cases studies: one studying the OECD's and the International Chamber of Commerce's (“ICC”) role in the emerging global acceptance of mandatory arbitration provisions in tax treaties, and one following the efforts of the past decade to generate a response to harmful tax competition. Finally, the conclusion offers some preliminary observations about the involvement of international organizations in tax policy and important avenues for further research.