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“Training in Citizenship”: Tax Compliance and Modernity

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Do the attempts of modern states to foster tax compliance reflect wider attributes of modernity? This article analyzes the history of the creation of a tax compliance culture in Israel of the 1950s and the various practices, techniques, and discourses that were deployed by the state to create model taxpaying citizens. It shows how the specific history of tax compliance can be understood as part of a wider phenomenon: the desire of modern states to create self-policing, normalized subjects. By interpreting the history of tax compliance critically, as part of the attempt of the state to control its citizens, the article suggests a new way of understanding the history of twentieth-century tax compliance generally and more specifically the history of judicial attempts to tackle tax evasion and tax avoidance.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Tel Aviv University

Publication date: 2007-09-01

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