How far has the recent global wave of tax reform contributed to state building in poorer countries? Our conclusion mirrors other general globalisation arguments: there are good things to report, but worrying problems in the poorest and most dependent countries. The reform agenda is least appropriate to those countries most in need of the state-building to which the taxation process has contributed at in other places and times. Governments in poorer countries have little choice but to go along with a reform agenda reflecting the priorities and needs of the more powerful actors in the international system. The contemporary tax reform agenda does not address the more urgent problems that the poorest countries face.

Odd-Helge Fjeldstad

Research Professor, Coordinator: Tax and Public Finance