AbstractsLaw & Legal Studies

The Predatory Rule? The influence on the shaping of a tax system in Tanzania

by Julie Fogt Rasmussen

Institution: Roskilde University
Year: 2015
Keywords: Tax; Margaret Levi; Tanzania; Representation; Deborah Brautigam; Odd-Helge Fjeldstad; Coercion; Predatory Rule; Bargaining; External Actors
Record ID: 1122456
Full text PDF: http://rudar.ruc.dk/handle/1800/18855


This project seeks to investigate the role of external actors and ideas in shaping the tax system of Tanzania. It will be done through an abductive study, including a literature review and a case study analysis. Initially, a literature review of the role of taxation in European state-building and subsequently in state-building in developing countries will be conducted. Central concepts and ideas will be defined in an analytical framework. These include amongst others Charles Tilly and Margaret Levi’s concept of bargaining power, Levi’s notions of the predatory ruler and of quasi-voluntary compliance, Odd-Helge Fjeldstad’s concept of the tax paying culture, and earned and unearned income as Mick Moore discusses it in regards to rentier states. The case study analysis of the Tanzanian tax system will be divided into three sections focusing on the three regimes that have held power in Tanzania; the colonial regime, the one-party regime and the multi-party regime. The project concludes that external actors and ideas have played a very important role in shaping the tax system in Tanzania. Firstly, German and British colonizers introduced coercive poll taxes that were continued well into the reign of Julius Nyerere and TANU. The country has generally had leaders that could be characterized as predatory rulers, and there has not been much compliance with the tax system, not even quasi-voluntary. Through the years, a large part of the population has for different reasons not been a part of the tax system. After the independence, a range of donors, scholars and companies have influenced the shaping of the tax system in different ways and with different amounts and sorts of bargaining power.