New technologies to solve complex social problems
The available new technologies will play a large role in solving complex social problems faced by administrations and organizations on the globe.
They will not only enable disruptive changes in the analysis of the problems we face, but also in obtaining the necessary knowledge to make the right decisions to overcome them.
From how to measure key indicators on poverty, violence or energy-related conflicts to how to develop creative solutions to the problems of the future, there is much that can be done.
The mathematical models, techniques and theorems that are being used in artificial intelligence will also have a determining role in the proper implementation of the policies that are designed.
This will make public actions gain in efficiency and effectiveness, as they will be based on data.
However, the management of the public interests must be concerned not only with leading the proactive actions of development and enhancing the quality of life but also with controlling those factors that impede development and improvements.
In this sense, the new technological tools will be of undeniable utility for dealing with international organized crime such as economic offenses and tax fraud.
Without effective control of these illicit acts, it is not possible for states to successfully implement initiatives that result in the well-being of society.
To understand this, it is necessary to adequately point out the connection between crimes that weaken state structures and certain problems facing the population.
This vision corresponds to a current conception of the concept of International Security in which its object is not limited to the protection of citizens against acts of violence. On the contrary, it recognizes the importance of addressing all those conflicts in the system that threaten a diversity of interests of individuals, States and other non-state actors.
Indeed, over time the object of International Security has expanded, the response to what is sought to protect from political organizations, encompassing a greater number of interests whose protection must be recognized. (Laborie Iglesias, 2016)
Based on a clear demand from society, the most paradigmatic change that can be recognized in the matter has to do with moving from protecting “the interests of States” to protecting “the interests of individuals”.
Thus, the new challenges for International Security also include issues of the daily life of citizens.
Now, the first complexity we encounter is given by the fact that this phenomenon coexists with the increasing widening of inequality. There is a gap between developed and developing countries and, moreover, there is also a gap within several countries.
In this way, people with access to a certain level of quality of life coexist with those deprived of first order needs.
Therefore, while it may be said that more interests and rights are recognized in the timeline, this does not mean that those who were recognized in the first place are properly guaranteed to all subjects. Quite the contrary, while broadening the recognition of the legitimacy of new interests, widens the spectrum of neglected demands.
The interests that were object of recognition of rights range from protection against hunger, wars, political persecution and violence, through access to safe drinking water, prevention of disease and full guarantee of the exercise of individual freedoms to even protection against sudden and painful alterations of the daily modus vivendi at the family, work or community level.
The right to a cultural identity, the development of certain intellectual or artistic concerns, the conservation of biological diversity and those rights relating to the environment are contemplated (Allena, 2014); as well as all kinds of diffuse interests and even non-current interests of future generations.
As for the subjects to whom a legitimate interest in security is recognized, a variety of actors are allowed in the new global scenario.
The most important decisions are no longer taken only by representatives of States.
International negotiating forums, even formal ones, currently convene on an equal footing individuals, non-governmental organizations, large corporations, political leaders and supranational or regional organizations, as well as state leaders.
Technological progress has also impacted on the diversity of means and modes under which the participation of the subjects takes place, the expression of social demands and, inevitably, the externalization of threats to international security (Innerarty and Solana, 2014).
These phenomena occur in the framework of a process of re-signification of the concept of state sovereignty that we are going through. First, because it can not be affirmed according to reality since the world does not function like the traditional map that is used to represent it. Technology, the cheapness of transport and the media, as well as other social and cultural facts, blurred some borders and created others.
This has undressed the impotence of the state – considered in isolation – to cope per se with the new threats. Nothing is possible today for any state administration without concerted action with other states and with other supra and international organizations (Serrano Palacio and García-Villanova Ruiz, 2007).
On the contrary, terrorism and international organized crime are interrelated. They both have structures that support them and are functional in all countries.
An adequate evaluation of these phenomena requires that States extend their level of action to a multiplicity of causes that support them and that form a network across countries, regardless of frontiers.
In terms of perception, terrorism has been identified as the main threat to national security by the United States, Europe and virtually all international organizations, beginning with the United Nations itself.
However, what would happen if the effects of organized crime on the quality of life and the safety of people could be objectively measured? How far do they affect the development of social, political and economic structures?
Transnational organized crime – without political pretensions as a structuring element, without massive diffusion of its power and activities, but, on the contrary, in an effort to remain unnoticed and operate from the shadow it is currently one of the most profitable activities on a world scale.
Moreover, it is present in all the confines of the Earth and operates side by side with the licit structures with which we live daily, covering unsuspected reaches and endless material expressions that obstruct access to justice, education, health, the growth of the economy and the equitable distribution of wealth.
The ways of perpetrating it are dynamic, as they modified, disappeared and reinvented with the evolution of global movements, advances in communications and technological development.
This is why we understand that the efforts of the international community on cooperation between States and other non-State organizations in order to combat transnational organized crime should be considered a priority.
The extension of its existence is a threat both to individuals and to the social, economic and political stability of democratic institutions.
Like expressions of international organized crime, we find economic crimes and in particular, tax fraud.
These crimes are committed against tax administrations and are carried out by corporations with a large contributory capacity – hence their power to characterize the crime – that evade the payment of taxes.
To do this, they artificially direct their taxable profits to opaque jurisdictions in terms of collaboration for the exchange of information, the so-called tax havens.
The decrease in the economic contribution they generate has a strong impact on the availability of resources from the affected state economies and recent O.C.D.E. research shows that it has an impact on savings, investment and indebtedness (O.C.D.E., 2015).
In turn, the tax havens to which these funds are destined (Serrano Palacio and García-Villanova Ruiz, 2007) are territories with a clear functional role to the laundering of assets from other figures of organized crime and the financing of terrorism.
Thus, although it may be an end not sought by its authors, practices aimed at evading tax payments at the reference scales, while weakening state and productive structures (World Bank, 2002), dangerously articulate with threats to international security and other crimes with global impact, such as corruption and trafficking.
Because of the aforementioned inefficiency of States to solve these complex conflicts in isolation, international cooperation is indispensable for the controller of compliance with the obligation to contribute to the maintenance of common political structures.
This is why we are interested in knowing the initiatives in international cooperation to combat tax fraud and increase transparency and we ask whether and to what extent certain techniques and methods that can be successfully applied (Díaz Fernández, 2013) in the design of key actions for the sector.