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Taxation, the State and Society

The Fiscal Sociology of Interventionist Democracy


Marc Leroy

This book investigates the relationship between taxation, the State and society in democracy. Fiscal sociology is a broad social science in terms of its disciplines: law, economics, sociology, political science, management, economics, psychology etc. are mobilized. Fiscal sociology is general because it tackles a wide range of problems: genesis, development and crisis of the State, policy factors (ideas, institutions, division of left and right, lobbying etc.), vote-catching of the ruling elite, resilience of the welfare State, neo-liberal ideology of market efficiency, impact of capitalist globalization, democratic political choices and constraints on the functions of the interventionist State etc. It is empirical in terms of understanding the financing of public action: social division of society by the tax policy, growth of public expenditure, bureaucratic labelling of the tax deviance, budget performance, rationality of taxpayers, complex rules etc. It analyses the incoherence of a societal regulation of globalization: redistribution and inequalities of incomes, tax competition between the States, tax havens, tax planning and relocations of the multinational groups, action of the European Union, the OECD etc. It studies the conditions for a tax citizenbased conception of a democratic social contract.


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CHAPTER 3 Fiscal Sociology as a Social Science 87


87 CHAPTER 3 Fiscal Sociology as a Social Science Fiscal sociology was created by the reflection of Goldscheid and Schumpeter on the financial crisis of the State and by the establishment of an Italian school of thought interested in the means of the elite in power. After this founding period, fiscal sociology had an irregular development according to the period and the country. The factors ex- plaining the institutional recognition of an academic discipline are numerous, as is illustrated by the case of the establishment of fiscal sociology in France. The scientific market of the demand and supply of this knowledge depends on the ability of the administration and of every society to go beyond the technicity of this field dominated by jurists and economists. The longitudinal approach shows the relation between fiscal sociology and the interventionist State. The epistemological process tries to set forth theoretically the levels of analysis of the problems within a general socio-political theory. It aims to establish a hybrid social science whose definition is rather large in order to maintain a specific relationship with the variety of disciplines that are interested in its field of research. 1. The Factors of Institutional Recognition The institutional recognition of fiscal sociology has to be considered both in a diachronic and a synchronic way. The longitudinal point of view puts forward the impact of the interventionist State on the histori- cal diffusion of this approach founded at the time of the First World War. The synchronic view is based...

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