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Taxing the indigenous: a history of barriers to fiscal inclusion in the Bolivian highlands

Sheild Johansson, M; (2018) Taxing the indigenous: a history of barriers to fiscal inclusion in the Bolivian highlands. History and Anthropology , 29 (1) pp. 83-100. 10.1080/02757206.2017.1281266. Green open access

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Abstract

Following the electoral success of left wing and pro-indigenous President Evo Morales, the indigenous poor in Bolivia find themselves at the centre of a new vision of the state, echoed by a fervent citizenship project to include them as contributing participants in this new Bolivia. The state is working to initiate these hitherto informally employed subjects into an individualized fiscal regime: to make them into “taxpayers”. While the highland indigenous population have supported Morales’ political project, they resist inclusion into the broader state-sponsored project. This is not simply about avoiding financial obligations; their resistance is instead firmly rooted in the historical experience of fiscal exploitation, general suspicion of any state-run scheme as well as a clash of exchange models. I argue that in order to overcome these barriers, the Tax Office has to succeed in separating fiscal expansion from its association with an abstract state concept, and instead link it to palpable everyday life and politics, such as the union structure and Morales’ project of indigenous inclusion.

Type: Article
Title: Taxing the indigenous: a history of barriers to fiscal inclusion in the Bolivian highlands
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/02757206.2017.1281266
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1080/02757206.2017.1281266
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Taxation, Andes, state, unions, citizenship
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/1542427
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