Taxation and Customs Reforms in Fragile States: Between Bargaining and Enforcement
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In the last decade, African authorities and the international community have called for support to increase taxation capacity in order to reduce reliance on aid flows. This commitment to support tax administrations was reflected in the 2015 Addis Tax Initiative (ATI), which advocated ‘to double assistance to developing countries in order to strengthen their tax systems and administrations’ by the year 2020 (IMF 2017: 6). Increasing domestic resource mobilisation is even more salient for state-building in fragile states, in terms of providing costly services to citizens, including security, across national territory. There is a rich literature (Acemoglu and Robinson 2012; Besley and Persson 2009) arguing that robust and inclusive fiscal institutions are essential for state-building and economic growth. This is not the situation in fragile states.