Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa
Conseil pour le développement de la recherche en sciences sociales en Afrique
Conselho para o Desenvolvimento da Pesquisa em Ciências Sociais em África
مجلس تنمية البحوث الإجتماعية في أفريقيا

State and Taxation in Africa


Number of visits: 1176

This session follows up on the works of the 1997 Institute on the “Political Economy of Conflicts in Africa and that on the 1998 Institute on “Security, Violence and Public Order.” More specifically, it reviews the relationship between the processes of state legitimation in Africa from the fiscal point of view.

Recent history and political science literature on conflict resolution, peace and security suggest that war has a unique destructive power in Africa. War alone, is said to be the most important explanatory factor for the collapse of the state in contemporary Africa.

This institute seeks to achieve three objectives:
Firstly, it attempts to see how, in a context of economic uncertainty, instability and volatility, fiscal crises affect the capacity of the state to impose laws and enforce these within a given territory; erode its capacity to bring together inhabitants of large regions and ethnic groups within the framework of stable relations; undetermined its ability to maintain internal order and protect individuals and property.

Secondly, it reviews the dynamics of the state-civil society relationship as expressed in the fiscal strategies and policies. It studies the mechanisms through which, in time of rapid change, public authority mingles with private authority, and, as a result, loses its autonomy over the means of violence and coercion. A special emphasis will be laid on the concrete forms and the operations of parallel institutions such prerogatives are devolved upon.

Thirdly, since taxation necessarily implies and encroachment upon property rights of subjects, the institute will analyse how consent or resistance to the imposition and other forms of levy, shape in turn people’s perception of the relationships between authority and coercion, citizenship and rights, private property and public good.

The objective of this session is make the laureates reflect on these issues and to better understand and analyse the fiscal evolution of the state in Africa.

January 26 2010