International Politics

, Volume 54, Issue 5, pp 533–551 | Cite as

Taxing the powerful, the rise of populism and the crisis in Europe: the case for the EU Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base

  • Jamie MorganEmail author
Original Article


Contemporary populism is rooted in a crisis of legitimacy. Corporate tax avoidance by multinationals is one cause of that crisis. Although states tend to be increasingly formally committed to tackling avoidance, they do so in a system that promotes contradictory sets of behaviour. This tends to undermine attempts to solve the problem of avoidance unless a more transformative collective approach is taken. Ironically, despite its own democratic deficit, the European Commission has taken a leading role in promoting such a solution: the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB). In this paper, I set out the case for ‘unitary taxation’ based on the CCCTB and state some of its current problems. The problem of corporation tax raises a basic issue in terms of who is sovereignty for, and solving the problem provides an important contribution to legitimacy of both the state and the EU.


Populism Corporate tax avoidance CCCTB Unitary taxation 



Thanks to Sol Picciotto, David Quentin and Prem Sikka for generous provision of their work. Thanks also to participants at the Global Wealth Chain workshop organized by Leonard Seabrooke and Duncan Wigan and hosted by Ronen Palan at CityPERC (Political Economy Research Centre) City University London, February 2017.


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Economics, Analytics and International BusinessLeeds Beckett University Business SchoolLeedsUK

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