Tax Havens and Social/Environmental Sustainability Workshop

G08 University House (Birmingham Business School)
Tuesday 4 June 2019 (09:30-17:00)

Jointly organised by the Centre for Tax Governance part of the Accountability and Governance Research Cluster, Lloyds Banking Group Centre for Responsible Business and the Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research, this workshop aims to bring together scholars and perspectives from a variety of disciplines to explore issues that arise at the intersection of social and environmental sustainability concerns and the nature and functioning of tax havens, especially around transparency.

Scholars from these two areas of research (tax and sustainability) do not ‘naturally’ meet for conversations, yet there are links between these two aspects. For example, there is a concern in some quarters that a lack of transparency about who are the beneficial owners of companies may mean that it is harder to hold organisations accountable for their social and environmental impacts. In addition, in some sectors production assets (such as fishing vessels - by virtue of their Flag status) are linked to tax havens and this may again prevent information about the activities of vessels being readily available. At the same time, there is a lack of understanding of the nature of tax havens and their functioning and, indeed contestation about what constitutes a tax haven.

With this background in mind, this workshop will gather together speakers (and workshop participants) who have experiences in tax haven research as well as social/environmental/sustainability issues. The workshop will include a series of provocations as well as space for more generative conversations about potential future research questions, key concepts that could inform work at this intersection and theoretical themes that are relevant to this work.

It is our hope that the engagement between researchers from a variety of disciplines and with a variety of perspectives will generate new insights that will enter the literature. We are in conversation with the Social and Environmental Accountability Journal about a possible call for paper a special issue on the role of tax havens in social/environmental sustainability. We hope that this workshop might create the starting point for this future conversation.

The workshop is free to attend (we ask participants to cover their own travel costs) and will take place at The University of Birmingham on Tuesday 4 June 2019 (from 9:30 – 17.00).