Offshore financial centres such as Luxembourg, the Cayman Islands or the City of London provide non-residents with a legal framework that is strong on property rights and soft on taxation and regulation.
Comparing the experiences of Britain, Germany, Brazil, and Mexico, Offshore Finance and State Power (Oxford University Press 2023) asks how these offshore financial services affect the power of the state. The book finds that economic actors go offshore to create money more than to hide it. Legal offshore banking trumps tax planning or money laundering in its impact on state power. It shows that offshore finance can limit state power by transmitting the volatility of unregulated offshore banking into the domestic economy. Yet, counterintuitively, offshore finance can also enhance state power. It provides governments with an extraterritorial vehicle to cover up political conflicts over how to finance the state and to mitigate class conflict.
Join the Author, Andrea Binder as she discusses the book and to which extent a state can put offshore finances at its own service, depends on a country's domestic elite constellation and the tax and bank bargains they have forged throughout history.
This is an Oxford Martin Programme on African Governance event.
Freigeist Research Group Leader, Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science
Andrea Binder is a Freigeist Research Group Leader at the Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science at Freie Universität Berlin, a non-resident fellow at the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi), and member of Die Junge Academia.
Her research focuses on global finance and humanitarian politics. She was a visiting scholar at the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económica (CIDE) in Mexico and the Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV) in Brazil. Andrea holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge, where she was a Gates Cambridge Scholar. Her dissertation won the Körber Foundation's German Dissertation award 2020. Andrea received her M.A. in political science, economics and rhetoric from the University of Tübingen, Germany.
Professor Ricardo Soares de Oliveira
Director, Oxford Martin Programme on African Governance (Chair)
Ricardo Soares de Oliveira is Professor of the International Politics of Africa at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford, Official Fellow of St Peter's College, and a Fellow with the Global Public Policy Institute, Berlin.
He is the joint editor of African Affairs, the journal of the Royal African Society. He is the author of Magnificent and Beggar Land: Angola since the civil war and Oil and Politics in the Gulf of Guinea. He has been awarded a Leverhulme Trust/British Academy Senior Research Fellowship for 2023-24 and is currently writing a book titled Africa Offshore.
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