Volltext: Liechtenstein and the German tax affair:

CD with data of a Liechtenstein bank. But in the view of the author, this still does not 
sufficiently explain the timing. 
Another possibility for analyzing the present case with respect to timing could, under certain 
circumstances, be the actor-network theory (ANT), as we will see below. 
As shown in Chapter 6.5.1, the author is aware that the individual actors are not as 
homogeneous as set out in the Eichhorn model on grounds of complexity reduction. For the 
purpose of our analysis, however, this was sufficient. We have identified the very 
heterogeneous actors within the two main actors, Germany and Liechtenstein. If we were to 
try to separate them out even further and identify the arenas in which they act, the complexity 
of this undertaking would quickly become too difficult to manage. 
ANT, developed by Bruno Latour, Michel Callon, and John Law, attempts "as detailed a 
reconstruction of phenomena as possible. The goal is not to explain, but rather to understand 
how certain concepts and ideas are asserted in a social group." (Mettig 2007, 15). Behavior by 
actors is traced in order to understand it better. ANT is therefore also a population theory for 
organizational change. But this misses our main goal, namely precisely to find an explanation 
of the developments and influence processes, in order to develop new concepts on this basis. 
For the question of timing, however, ANT may be helpful, as we shall now see. 
ANT originates in the sociology of science and technology, but over time also has established 
itself in other research fields, especially business information science, geography, and 
political science and history. 
ANT focuses on the assumption that actors, organizations and material objects can be seen as 
interactive effects. Social reality 1s therefore the result of interactions among different actors. 
Individual actors try to assert their perspective on specific problems in one or more groups of 
importance to them by convincing other actors of their views, i.e. incorporating them in a 
"network of actors" (see Mettig 2007, 1). 
Sometimes, however, for whatever reasons, it 1s not possible to convince other actors or 
groups of one's perspective, or an issue becomes uncomfortable within an arena, so that an 
attempt is made to direct the attention of the other actors to a completely different arena by 
launching a "relief attack". In the best scenario, this actually leads to a spill-over effect from 
one arena to the other. 
In light of these considerations and on the basis of the present paper, an interesting research 
project in communication science could be conducted on this sub-topic, which however 
would go beyond the scope of this paper. Indeed, very soon after the beginning of the tax 
affair, rumors circulated — and have persisted to this day, but have never been proven — that 
some members of the German Government found it very convenient that the tax affair 
distracted from the IKB arena and the involvement of the Government in the impact of the 
subprime crisis on IKB and some of the Landesbanken. In order to bail out the affected 
German banks, the Government had invested hundreds of millions in tax money. Moreover, 
the discussion in other arenas concerning issues such as the minimum wage and other topics 


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