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States of extraction: impacts of taxation on statebuilding in Angola and Mozambique, 1975-2013

Anderson, Emily (2014) States of extraction: impacts of taxation on statebuilding in Angola and Mozambique, 1975-2013. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This PhD investigates the impacts of taxation on state capacity and accountability through comparative case studies of Angola and Mozambique between 1975 and 2013. Extremes of violence and economic dependency dominate the postcolonial histories of Angola and Mozambique. These cases provide an ideal setting for comparative analysis of how civil war and single resource dependence influence the links between taxation and statebuilding. The thesis demonstrates, in contrast to bellicist notions, that civil war did not strengthen the tax systems or create stronger states. Rather, transitions from the colonial capitalist regimes to socialism and then towards market capitalism, as well as the availability of autonomous income sources, were the central drivers of change in extractive processes. The research establishes taxation as both a critical explanation for development trajectories and a reflection of state capacity and accountability. Existing research on taxation and statebuilding in contemporary developing countries tends to treat tax as a catalyst for democracy, but I find that it provides political regimes with an equally powerful tool to expand power through neopatrimonial networks and consolidate control over the state. Analysis of the case studies concludes that, driven by extraverted elite accumulation strategies, vast oil resources in Angola and large-scale foreign aid in Mozambique worked similarly to disconnect state finances from society and undermine the potential links between revenue collection and redistribution, thereby reducing the possibility of enhanced state capacity or accountability.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2014 Emily Jean Anderson
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > International Relations
Supervisor: Alden, Christopher

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