Before entering the main discussion, I would like to thank the many bright people who took the time to read and discuss my work on its road toward publication. Without their valuable input, this book would not have been possible. First and foremost, I was very fortunate to work with Adrienne Héritier at the European University Institute (EUI). She provided orientation when needed and always asked exactly the right questions to help me improve my work. Philipp Genschel reassured me of the merit of a power-based approach to the politics of international taxation and motivated me to better explain why the European Union has been unable to harness the power of the common market. Thomas Rixen has been an incredible source of knowledge on the international tax system. He provided me with the opportunity to join the “Combatting Fiscal Fraud and Empowering Regulators” (COFFERS) project and made sure I found the time to revise my manuscript for publication amid our common work on the interaction between national and international tax policy. In this context, I gratefully acknowledge support for research and publication from the COFFERS project under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program’s grant agreement no. 727145. Patrick Emmenegger’s feedback motivated me to dive deeper into the technicalities and legislative history of the qualified intermediary program and engage with the concept of structural power.
During my time at the EUI, recurrent discussions with Max Schaub, Elie Michel, Philip Rathgeb, Donagh Davis, Ludvig Lundstedt, Katharina Meissner, Magnus Schöller, Sven Steinmo, and Pepper Culpepper provided important suggestions and food for thought. Since then, this manuscript benefited from the engaging criticism of my colleagues at the University of Bamberg and in the COFFERS consortium, namely Valeska Gerstung, Frank Bandau, Leo Ahrens, Fabio Bothner, Simon Linder, Rasmus Christensen, Duncan Wigan, Markus Meinzer, and Leonard Seabrooke. At conferences where parts of this work were presented, I had the opportunity to engage in fruitful debates with Wouter Lips, Loriana Crasnic, Vincent Arel-Bundock, and Martin Hearson. Moreover, I’m particularly indebted to the forty-two individuals who took time off their schedules to tell me about their work in the international tax sphere and thereby provided the decisive empirical underpinning of this work. Likewise, I am very grateful to Sarah and Damien for hosting me during my field research in Washington, DC; to Sophie and Klaus for hosting me in Vienna; and to Sara and Moritz for hosting me in Paris.
(p.xvi) I have also enjoyed the privilege of working with an excellent team of editors at Cornell University Press. Roger Malcolm Haydon provided straightforward guidance on how to make my argument more accessible for a general audience and organized an extremely efficient review process. Eric Helleiner showed incredible commitment, probably reading four versions of this manuscript in full, and always providing elaborate and extremely constructive comments. In combination with the thought-provoking criticism and helpful suggestions from two anonymous reviewers, his feedback guided me in revising the book’s overall framing and structure, in checking my arguments and definitions for consistency, and in improving my discussion of the sources of state power.
My deepest gratitude goes to my family. My parents, Christiane and Jürgen, have unconditionally supported my intellectual journey since the beginning and shared my grandparents’ tax evasion story when they felt it could help my research. My sister, Marike, has always helped out when time constraints threatened to overpower me, even taking time off at work to ease the conflict between my parental and academic duties. Finally, I’m infinitely grateful to my wife, Linda-Marie, for her everlasting love and support, for giving encouragement and kicks to the backside at the right time, and for soothing my brittle nerves for so many years. Last but not least, my most affectionate gratitude goes to my son, Paul, for making me happy every single day. I dedicate this book to Linda and him.