Tax Resistance: A Global History?
US : Pennsylvania State University Press - Penn State University Press
301 - 307 p.
The main purpose of this special issue is to focus on various examples of tax resistance during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries under different regimes and countries. Needless to say, the term “resistance” covers a wide range of practices, from individual claims (through petitions, dissimulation, and evasion) to collective action against the state (through tax strikes, violent uprisings). First and foremost, it seems crucial to abandon the logical connection that is too often made between “tax resistance” and antistatism. The fact that people refuse to pay taxes does not always mean that they reject the state as a whole. Following some thoughtful analyses put forward by anthropologist Janet Roitman, we argue that tax resistance is a productive mode of negotiation. “Incivisme fiscal,” to use Roitman’s words, is an “event” during which seminal political issues are dealt with, such as the boundary between public good and private wealth, between state and civil society, and between legitimate and illegitimate forms of power, among many other things. That is the main reason why social scientists have to take tax resistance very seriously (...).