The Prize Committee is delighted to announce that the article by Ainsley Elbra, John Mikler & Hannah Murphy-Gregory titled “The Big Four and corporate tax governance: From global dis-harmony to national regulatory incrementalism,” published in the journal, Global Policy, has won the 2023 Australian International Political Economy Network (AIPEN) Richard Higgott Journal Article Prize.
The Committee unanimously agreed to award the prize to the article on the basis of its timely and compelling findings. We were very impressed by how the scholarship represents a direct impact to policy-making, and ability to influence political and economic reform in Australia. The article advances a central argument that professional services firms – PwC, Deloitte, KPMG and EY – do not engage in purely technical terms. Rather, that ‘their advice is self-interested in service of their business model and the facilitation of ongoing tax avoidance by their clients.’
As a model for exemplary scholarship on Australian international political economy, the article makes a substantive theoretical contribution to highlighting the structural and discursive power of these firms while weaving empirical work through a systematic analysis of Australian Senate Inquiry hearings and responses. The authors show, through clear and accessible writing, that these firms operate as regulatory intermediaries that uphold disharmony in global tax governance.
We also commend the article’s clear policy recommendations which have far-reaching implications to reforming taxation globally.
For these reasons, the committee concludes that it is worthy of AIPEN’s recognition and we invite our broader community to read and debate the intellectual and policy contributions of this piece.
Congratulations again to Ainsley, John and Hannah!
The prize will be awarded at the next AIPEN workshop and the authors will be invited to write a PPE post on the winning article.
In addition, we wish to also congratulate all authors of the three other shortlisted articles.
The committee was very impressed by the convergences of scholarship seeking to critically examine the intersections of global economy and security. This is much needed and fertile terrain for discussion in our discipline and the papers by Elliot Dolan-Evans on “Making war safe for capitalism” and Jessica Whyte on “Economic Coercion and Financial War” draw our attention to this fact.
Finally, the committee was impressed by the work of Sirma Altun, Christian Caiconte, Madelaine Moore, Adam David Morton, Matthew Ryan, Riki Scanlan, and Austin Hayden Smidt in providing a fresh reading of György Lukács. Among its contributions include the use of the concept of totality to elucidate some contemporary issues in International Political Economy.
The selection committee consisted of Maria Tanyag (ANU), Elizabeth Thurbon (UNSW), Kanishka Jayasuriya (Murdoch) and Tom Chodor (Monash).