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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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Ambivalent Solidarities and Fiscal Reciprocities


Location: Poznań, Poland
Date: 28 Aug 11:00 - 15:30


Room 3.106

Human societies have been constructing social solidarity beyond kin groups for many millennia. States have continuously expanded their capacities to extract resources from their subjects. From whom such revenues are collected and for whose benefit they are used is the outcome of political processes in which considerations of justice and morality are central. The study of taxation therefore engages with multiple key relations: between equity and efficiency; state and market; private property and collective goods; individual and society. We invite ethnographically informed proposals that address the ethical foundations of taxation policies as they are actually implemented. What is considered fair taxation and notions of who is deserving of support vary greatly. In Scandinavia, strong welfare states were formed on the basis of reciprocity and shared norms of compliance. The bulk of revenue came from taxing individual income in progressive fashion. The state socialism of the Soviet bloc, by contrast, emphasized redistribution via central planning. Individual incomes were more equal and their taxation did not play a significant role. How can postsocialist states replicate the accomplishments of their erstwhile rivals in the West? Or, in the era of neoliberalism, digitization, and experiments with new institutions such as the share economy, is the taxation-based welfare state no longer a viable model even in its former strongholds? What new varieties of state-society-citizen relations formed through taxation might offer alternative forms of solidarity across the boundaries of social class and between different types of taxpayer?


  • P 5.1
    • Dr. Hann, Chris (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology)
    • Dr. Larsen, Lotta Björklund (University of Exeter Business School)
  • P 5.2
    • Dr. Hann, Chris (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology)
    • Dr. Larsen, Lotta Björklund (University of Exeter Business School)

Timetable | Contribution List

Displaying 8 contributions out of 8
Taxation is both an economic necessity for the welfare state and a moral relationship between the citizen and the state fiscal authorities. States can therefore decide how vigilant they should be in collecting certain kinds of taxes and in identifying tax cheaters or people obtaining illegitimate welfare benefits. Scandinavian welfare states are based on a homogenous idea of a collective, where ev ... More
Presented by Dr. Steven SAMPSON on 28/8/2019 at 13:45
In liberal redistributive systems, separate categories of beneficiaries and taxpayers are usually created, and the deservingness of the former is questioned especially when it is perceived as an outsider to the ‘moral community’, to the people to whom one feels moral commitments and solidarity. This article addresses this issue from the perspective of interregional redistribution at the state ... More
Presented by Dr. Mikel ARAMBURU on 28/8/2019 at 14:25
The contribution will shed light on two mechanisms which undermine small business owners’ acceptance of taxes in East Germany. The tax system and the different public social insurance systems are – by and large – not related to each other; but many small business owners make a connection between these systems. For understanding the first mechanism, it is important to note that around three q ... More
Presented by Dr. Sylvia TERPE on 28/8/2019 at 14:05
Taxation and gambling are two very different ways of exchanging. Gambling is voluntary and seems lively, effortless and playful, yet studies of gambling show the seriousness involved and its ritualistic qualities. Gambling maintains the rigid hierarchy among the Balinese (Geertz 1973), displays Greek masculinity through nonchalant behavior (Herzfeld 1991) and reinforces social inequality (Binde 20 ... More
Presented by Dr. Lotta BJÖRKLUND LARSEN, Mr. Nino MUENCH on 28/8/2019 at 11:00
With the release of the so-called Panama Papers, a widespread network of tax havens and offshore shell-companies hit global newsrooms like a bombshell. Numerous enquiries from critical journalist networks and national tax agencies followed. What this and further document released since revealed is that a significant share of global fiscal transactions happens beyond the radar of national tax autho ... More
Presented by Dr. Patrick NEVELING on 28/8/2019 at 11:20
In parallel with the implementation of severe austerity measures in memoranda Greece, heavy taxation both of income (enterprise profits, wages and pensions) and commodities was implemented, in order to repay part of the Greek public debt. In Agrinio, a provincial town in central Greece, as a result of unemployment and/or severe diminution of revenues, undeclared household tobacco growing has becom ... More
Presented by Dr. Aliki ANGELIDOU on 28/8/2019 at 12:00
This paper addresses the narratives surrounding taxation practices in rural Uganda. Most taxes at the district level in Uganda are outsourced to the highest bidder, a ‘sub-contractor’, who thereupon, is also allowed to hire ‘assistants’. In doing so, the district government is losing overview of revenue collections, as extra knots are included in the chains of implementation. Consequently, ... More
Presented by Danse Anna Maria DE BONDT on 28/8/2019 at 9:40
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