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Taxes for independence: rejecting a fiscal model of reciprocity in peri-urban Bolivia

Sheild Johansson, M; (2020) Taxes for independence: rejecting a fiscal model of reciprocity in peri-urban Bolivia. Social Analysis , 64 (2) pp. 18-37. 10.3167/sa.2020.640202. Green open access

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Abstract

In peri-urban Cochabamba, Bolivia, the ‘informally’ employed population reject the government’s fiscal offer of taxes in return for welfare, infrastructure, and rights, including the offer’s underlying logic of reciprocity. Instead, they disaggregate the fiscal landscape by choosing to engage with some taxes and avoid others, understanding the exchanges that do take place as vehicles for independence from the state as opposed to interdependence with the state. An anthropology of tax must do the same: deconstruct fiscal systems, examine the multiple exchange logics at play, investigate the production of diverse forms of ‘economic citizenship’, and locate emic definitions of tax within their historical and cultural context. Specifically, reciprocity should not be assumed to be an organizing principle of fiscal imaginaries or realities.

Type: Article
Title: Taxes for independence: rejecting a fiscal model of reciprocity in peri-urban Bolivia
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3167/sa.2020.640202
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3167/sa.2020.640202
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Andes, citizenship, exchange, reciprocity, social contract, tax, tribute
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10102867
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