Taxation and State Building: Towards a Governance Focused Tax Reform Agenda

Authors: Wilson Prichard
Publisher: ICTD
Date: September 2010


ICTD Working Paper 341

Taxation is fundamental to sustainable development, as it supports the basic functions of an effective state and sets the context for economic growth. More often overlooked is the role of taxation as a catalyst for the development of responsive and accountable government, and for the expansion of state capacity. Recent research has begun to focus on this broader relationship between taxation and state building, but the analysis has frequently remained relatively theoretical and abstract. This paper seeks to chart new territory by translating the findings of existing research into a practical agenda for action, focusing on the specific measures that governments, with the support of development partners, could be taking to strengthen the state building role of taxation. In short, this paper seeks to outline the core elements of a governance focused tax reform agenda.