The thunder of history: The origins and development of the new fiscal sociology

Isaac William Martin, Ajay K. Mehrotra, Monica Prasad

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

50 Scopus citations


Everyone knows that taxation is important. Political scientists know that tax cuts are a major partisan battleground in the United States today, and that the rise of neoliberal ideology has propelled taxation onto the international policy agenda. Legal scholars know that the tax code has become the preferred vehicle for promoting an enormous variety of domestic policies - from social provisions to industrial policies to educational subsidies. Historians know that taxation has been a pivotal source of conflict and change from the American Revolution to the Reagan revolution, and that taxes have been central to the formation of civic identity across place and time. Sociologists know that nearly every issue with which they are concerned - the obligations of the individual to society; the powers and legitimacy of the state; the allocation of public and private resources; the rise of bureaucratic administration; the reproduction of class, race, and gender inequalities - runs through the issue of taxation. There are good reasons why many scholars have recognized the importance of taxation. Taxes formalize our obligations to each other. They define the inequalities we accept and those that we collectively seek to redress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe New Fiscal Sociology Taxation in Comparative and Historical Perspective
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9780511627071
ISBN (Print)9780521494274
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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