Professor Ronen Palan

Professor Ronen Palan

CITY, University of London

International Political Economy, off-shore finance, Tax Havens


Ronen Palan (born 21 March 1957) is an Israeli-born economist and Professor of International Political Economy in the Department of International Politics at the City University London. He has many books and articles on the political economy of the state, globalisation and state strategies, and evolutionary approaches to the study of international relations. Ronen Palan was of the founding editors and current member of the board of trustees of the Review of International Political Economy. Palan’s major empirical work is the area of offshore financial centres and tax havens. Palan has argued that offshore finance “is certainly not the sole cause for the decline of the nation-state, but it must be seen as an important contributing factor to the decline”. In January 2016, Palan acted as an advisor to the BBC’s documentary, Britain’s Trillion Pound Paradise – Inside Cayman. In May 2017, Palan also featured in the documentary, “The Spider’s Web: Britain’s Second Empire” on the U.K.’s relationships with tax havens. As a student, Palan attended the London School of Economics, where he produced his PhD thesis Patterns of non-governmental interactions as a bridge between the structuralist theory of the state and the study of international relations. He subsequently worked at Newcastle University and the University of Sussex before joining Birmingham University in 2007. He is a visiting professor at several Universities including the Central European University-Budapest, Hebrew University-Jerusalem, York University-Toronto, ULB-Brussels, CERIS-ULB Diplomatic School of Brussels and Centre pour la Recherhce Economique et ses Applications – CEPREMAP-Paris. 


Professor Ronen Palan has authored and edited a number of books, including Global Political Economy: Contemporary Theories (edited, Routledge, 2000, Second edition, Routledge, 2013), The Offshore World: Sovereign Markets, Virtual Places, and Nomad Millionaires (Cornell University Press, 2003), The Imagined Economies of Globalisation (with Angus Cameron, Sage, 2004), Paradis Fiscaux (La Découvrte, 2006) and Tax Havens: How Globalization Really Works  (with Richard Murphy, Christian Chavagneux, Cornell University Press, 2010), Sabotage : The Business of Finance (with Anastasia Nesvetailova, GB version, Pinguin Books Ltd, 2020) or Sabotage : The Hidden Nature of Finance (with Anastasia Nesvetailova, USA version, Public Affairs New York, 2019)

Media work/appearances

Professor Palan has been interviewed by journals and magazines including the New York Times, The Wall St. Journal, Forbes, The Guardian, The Economist, Le Monde, Alternatives Economiques, Agence France Press, Swiss Business, Dispatches for Channel 4, BBC World Service, National Public radio (NPR).

Watch Professor Palan’s interview on Bloomberg Television: Can you blame Starbucks for avoiding UK tax? (November 2012).

Professor Palan’s interview about ‘Britain’s Second Empire‘.