The New Fiscal Sociology: Taxation in Comparative and Historical Perspective

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The New Fiscal Sociology: Taxation in Comparative and Historical Perspective demonstrates that the study of taxation can illuminate fundamental dynamics of modern societies. The fourteen chapters in this collection offer a state-of-the-art survey of the new fiscal sociology that is emerging at the intersection of sociology, history, political science, and law.

The contributors include some of the foremost comparative historical scholars in these disciplines and others. The editors conceptualize the institution of taxation as a changing social contract. The chapters address the social and historical sources of tax policy, the problem of taxpayer consent, and the social and cultural consequences of taxation. They trace fundamental connections between tax institutions and macro-historical phenomena - wars, shifting racial boundaries, religious traditions, gender regimes, labor systems, and more.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The New Fiscal Sociology presents a fantastic collection of essays written and edited by a group of first-rate scholars. The essays explore taxation from a range of perspectives including history, economics, political science, law, and sociology and in doing provide readers with a fascinating account of the development of the tax laws and their implication for modern society. The collection is truly a "must-read" for scholars, graduate students, and others interested in fiscal matters."
—Nancy Staudt, Professor of Law, Class of 1940 Research Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law

"Writings on an emerging cross-disciplinary field that examines such issues as the social bases and impact of taxation...."
—The Chronicle of Higher Education

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521494274
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/13/2009
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Isaac William Martin is the author of The Permanent Tax Revolt (2008), which won the President's Book Award from the Social Science History Association, and he is the co-editor of After the Tax Revolt: California's Proposition 13 Turns 30 (2009). He teaches sociology and urban studies at the University of California at San Diego.

Ajay K. Mehrotra is a professor of law and history at Indiana University Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, IN, USA.

Monica Prasad teaches in the Department of Sociology at Northwestern University. She is the author of The Politics of Free Markets (2006), which won the 2007 Barrington Moore Award. Her current projects include research on the origins of progressive taxation in America; a comparative study of tax progressivity (with Yingying Deng); and a comparative historical investigation of carbon taxes.

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Table of Contents

List of Contributors vii

Acknowledgments ix

Foreword Charles Tilly xi

1 The Thunder of History: The Origins and Development of the New Fiscal Sociology Isaac William Martin Ajay K. Mehrotra Monica Prasad 1

Part 1 Social Sources of Taxation: American Tax Policy in Comparative Perspective

2 "The Unfair Advantage of the Few": The New Deal Origins of "Soak the Rich" Taxation Joseph J. Thorndike 29

3 What Americans Think of Taxes Andrea Louise Campbell 48

4 Read Their Lips: Taxation and the Right-Wing Agenda Fred Block 68

5 Making Taxes the Life of The Party Christopher Howard 86

Part 2 Taxpayer Consent

6 The Politics of Demanding Sacrifice: Applying Insights from Fiscal Sociology to the Study of AIDS Policy and State Capacity Evan S. Lieberman 101

7 The End of the Strong State?: On the Evolution of Japanese Tax Policy Eisaku Ide Sven Steinmo 119

8 War and Taxation: When Does Patriotism Overcome the Free-Rider Impulse? Naomi Feldman Joel Slemrod 138

9 Liberty, Democracy, and Capacity: Lessons from the Early American Tax Regimes Robin L. Einhorn 155

Part 3 The Social Consequences of Taxation

10 Extraction and Democracy Charles Tilly 173

11 Improving Tax Administration in Contemporary African States: Lessons from History Edgar Kiser Audrey Sacks 183

12 Adam Smith and the Search for an Ideal Tax System Beverly Moran 201

13 Where's the Sex in Fiscal Sociology?: Taxation and Gender in Comparative Perspective Edward McCaffery 216

14 The Shoup Mission to Japan: Two Political Economies Intersect W. Elliot Brownlee 237

Epilogue: A Renaissance for Fiscal Sociology? John L. Campbell 256

References 267

Index 299

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