Beyond the Social Contract: An Anthropology of Tax

Nicolette Makovicky (Editor), Robin Smith (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportAnthologyResearchpeer-review


Tax and taxation are conventionally understood as the embodiment of social contract. This ground-breaking collection of essays challenges this truism, examining what tax might tell us about the limits of social-contract thinking. The contributors shed light on contemporary fiscal structures and public debates about the moralities, practices, and imaginaries of tax systems, using tax to explore the nature of citizenship, personal freedom, and moral and economic value. Their ethnographically grounded accounts show how taxation may be influenced by spaces of fiscal sovereignty that exist outside or alongside the state, taking various forms, from alternative religious communities to economic collectives.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherBerghahn Books
Number of pages157
ISBN (Print)9781805390404, 9781805390428
ISBN (Electronic)9781800739956
Publication statusPublished - 2023
SeriesStudies In Social Analysis

Bibliographical note

Reprint of special issue of Social Analysis, Volume 64 (2020): Issue 2 (Jun 2020).

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