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 sixteen essays 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. They approach the institution of taxation as a window onto the changing social contract. Their chapters address the social and historical sources of tax policy, the problem of how taxes persist, and the social and cultural consequences of taxation. They trace fundamental connections between tax institutions and macrohistorical 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: 9780521738392
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/13/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (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

Preface Charles Tilly; 1. The thunder of history Isaac William Martin, Ajay K. Mehrotra and Monica Prasad; 2. 'The unfair advantage of the few' Joseph J. Thorndike; 3. What Americans think of taxes Andrea Louise Campbell; 4. Read their lips Fred Block; 5. Making taxes the life of the party Christopher Howard; 6. The politis of demanding sacrifice Evan S. Lieberman; 7. The end of the strong state Eisaku Ide and Sven Steinmo; 8. War and taxation Naomi Feldman and Joel Slemrod; 9. Liberty, democracy, and capacity Robin L. Einhorn; 10. Extraction and democracy Charles Tilly; 11. Improving tax administration in contemporary African states Edgar Kiser and Audrey Sacks; 12. Adam Smith and the search for an ideal tax system Beverly Moran; 13. Where's the sex in fiscal sociology? Edward McCaffery; 14. The Shoup mission to Japan W. Elliot Brownlee; Epilogue: A renaissance for fiscal sociology John L. Campbell.

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