Why the title ‘New politics of taxation’? What then were the ‘old’? This Bulletin discusses the increasing prominence of taxation issues on policy and political agendas in developing countries. Dismissing the premise that taxation is a dry and technical topic with no implications for development, the contributing authors reflect on the reasons for this rise, both in discussions about region-specific factors and on the underpinning global issue of the defeat of the neo-liberal aim to ‘roll back the state’.
With greater fiscal dependence of developing country governments on tax revenues should come, ideally, a greater accountability of the state to its citizens. Some articles discuss historic precedents for this but others reject that there is a connection, or that current reforms encourage such a connection. The final section of the Bulletin is a set of contributions that ask the question ‘How can developing country governments tax more effectively?’