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Race and Regionalism in the Politics of Taxation in Brazil and South Africa (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics) Paperback – November 13, 2003

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"Tax policies are telling and shaped by the most fundamental aspects of politics, including how collective identies and obligations are perceived and acted upon. Lieberman provides a pathbreaking comparative study which richly explores this issue, using an impressive array of sources and methods. The result will recast and inform the debate." Anthony Marx, Columbia University

"At a time when governing is too often reduced to a management problem, Evan Lieberman has performed a timely service by reminding us of the importance of identities and a sense of community in shaping the way we relate to government. This study of a vital aspect of state capacity, taxation in two important societies of the South, is an important contribution to our understanding of relations between states and citizens." Steven Friedman, Centre for Policy Studies

"Race and Regionalism is an excellent book. Through a careful analysis of the growth of the Tax State in South Africa and Brazil this book offers enormous insights into political development far beyond the issue area of taxation and Historical Institutionalist theory and to our understanding of the role of fiscal policy in political and economic development. It is a model of comparative historical analysis." Sven Steinmo, University of Colorado

"Race and Regionalism is a terrific book." American Journal of Sociology

"Evan Lieberman has produced a first-rate work of comparative political economy. Just as importantly, he has done so by going boldly (and engagingly where so few have gone before -- into the tax state...Essential reading to all students of comparative political economy." APSA Perspectives on Politics

"This intriguing and counter-intuitive argument, based mostly on secondary sources and recent field research, makes this a very important and pioneering work...Lieberman shines a bright light on a very promising research path that one hopes future researchers will pursue." The Americas, Steven Tonk, University of California, Irvine

Book Description

Nationally-specific definitions of citizenship proved decisive for the development of the Tax State in Brazil and South Africa in the 20th century. Although both countries had been divided along racial and regional lines in the late 19th century, watershed constitutions addressed these political problems in very different ways. South Africa's institutionalized white supremacy created a level of political solidarity that contributed to the development of a highly progressive and efficient tax system. In Brazil, federalism and official non-racialism proved more divisive, making the enactment and collection of progressive taxes much more difficult.

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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics
  • Paperback: 346 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2003 edition (September 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521016983
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521016988
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,571,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Nathaniel Lane on June 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The title says it all: and with as much breadth. This is comparative politics at its best. Using two oddly similar nations, the study examines how political institutions incorporate identity determines state fiscal capacity. In doing so, Lieberman brings together solid scholarship in identity politics, public finance, and development to examine the divergent paths of the South African state and Brazil; the formers's success in establishes strong, direct tax institutions and the latter's fragmented failures in establishing a modern, progressive fiscal system. Whether you agree that race and regionalism are causal factors in state development, Lieberman succeeds in using taxation as a vehicle for understanding the political histories of the two societies.

The per capita growth and politicla histories of Brazil and South Africa make them odd bedfellows ripe for comparison. How the two states are socially divided is the crux of the book: racial identity was primary criteria of political participation in establishing the unified, white South African government that emerged out of the Boer Wars. In Brazil, politics focused explicitly around regionalism post-independence, quickly becoming the dominant characteristic of the federalist system. While race mattered extensively, regional identities (ESP. North versus South) dominated the political landscape. For Lieberman, how these National Political Communities (NPCs) were institutionalized determined how the state could tax elites.

Why did the content of the NPCs (whether race-based or regionally-based) matter so much? Lieberman posits a model of political community where the racially fragmented system of South Africa created a cooperative relationship between the white supremacist state and national elites.
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