The political impact of taxation goes far beyond obtaining funds for financing the public sector, investment, and the basic needs of the population. Fjeldstad argues that taxation can contribute to more representative and accountable government by stimulating dialog between state and citizens about taxation based on mutual rights and obligations. The concept ‘fiscal social contract’ is central to explaining the development of representative states. Civil society can contribute to political engagement and advance the broader goals of improving transparency, taxpayer awareness and education. Mobilising the domestic tax base is also a key mechanism for developing countries to escape foreign aid or single resource dependency.

Odd-Helge Fjeldstad

Research Professor, Coordinator: Tax and Public Finance