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Contesting the Social Contract

Tax Reform and Economic Governance in Istria, Croatia

Robin Smith

reforms are implemented and how tax practices influence the way people perceive the social contract. This is particularly salient in states like Croatia, where national values, norms, and beliefs may still need to find voice in legislation adopted with the

Open access

Introduction

Tax Beyond the Social Contract

Nicolette Makovicky and Robin Smith

. Such approaches allow us collectively to unpick, examine, and question what has heretofore been accepted as truism in tax research—namely, the notion that tax and taxation are primarily a matter of the social contract and are best studied through the

Open access

Taxes for Independence

Rejecting a Fiscal Model of Reciprocity in Peri-urban Bolivia

Miranda Sheild Johansson

of whom are bilingual in Quechua or Aymara and Spanish, and who self-identify as indigenous or originario (first people). 1 The main argument forwarded here is that the model of reciprocity and social contract thinking, which governments and social

Open access

The Fiscal Commons

Tax Evasion, the State, and Commoning in a Catalonian Cooperative

Vinzenz Bäumer Escobar

In a recent volume on new fiscal sociology, the sociologists Isaac Martin, Ajay Mehrotra, and Monica Prasad (2009: 1) note that “in the modern world, taxation is the social contract.” Tax seems to be the primary way in which citizens relate to the

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Aspasia Velissariou

This article explores the chaotic violence in Nathaniel Lee’s tragedies, which, while clearly originating in the sovereign, by its sheer excess and blindness, is hypostasised as a motor of history. In Lee, violence is a reflection of the political anxieties surrounding the Exclusion Crisis but it is also intrinsic to the way he understands the nature of political life; in reality, it is constitutive of the very exercise of power. Drawing on Giorgio Agamben’s Homo Sacer I argue that sovereign violence is inscribed in a most savage form as the very foundation of the civil community, and, therefore, its autonomisation, as in Lee’s early plays, is only apparent. In Lucius Junius Brutus: Father of His Country (1680) the extreme sovereign assault on human life fully discloses its politically defined character because it is emblematically performed in the name of the institution of a new body politic, the Republic.

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Krassimira Daskalova

citizenship during different “rounds of national restructuring” of the “fraternal social contract.” 88 At the same time, it should be noted that women could not have gained civil and political citizenship without the support of some major male politicians

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(Dis)Connected Rail

Infrastructural Suspension and Phatic Politics in Romania

Adrian Deoancă

amounts to a breach of the social contract, and that forces commuters to use alternative mobilities at great expenses of money, time, dignity, and personal safety. I then discuss the phatic labor of remediation that state authorities and local campaigners

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Paule-Monique Vernes

The main ideas of Rousseau relevant to social quality are reviewed here with reference to many of his books and essays. A central theme in Rousseau's work is connected to the evils of inequality where the poor endure their servitude in the name of an illusory common good. The social problem of inequality relates to the political problem of freedom. The social contract requires that the gap between rich and poor be as small as possible; that there is aristocratic government; and that 'the general will' combines the requirement for community with respect for individuality. The article finishes with a discussion of spatial aspects of Rousseau's work relevant to social quality, including the notion of the garden city.

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L’Aimé qui est l’aimée

Can Levinas’ Beloved Be Queer?

Robin Podolsky

Abstract

Emmanuel Levinas’ teachings with regard to the other, the erotic and fecundity can speak powerfully to questions of Queer politics, morality and justice. Levinas’ insistence on the inalienability of human rights which supersede the bourgeois social contract, the interpersonal as the locus of goodness and his interest in the moral possibilities of the affectional and erotic offer stirring possibilities. So does his insistence that each person is a unique event in being, irreducible to genus (or gender). But what about Levinas’ formulations which appear to reinscribe heteronormative and patriarchal ideas about gender and family? Levinas scholars disagree about how to read these texts. This article provides a close reading of one of Levinas’ more provocative texts to derive a queer reading that honours the teacher.

Free access

Introduction

Remaking the Public Good

Laura Bear and Nayanika Mathur

In this introductory article, we call for a new anthropology of bureaucracy focused on 'the public good'. We aim to recapture this concept from its classic setting within the discipline of economics. We argue that such a move is particularly important now because new public goods – of transparency, fiscal discipline and decentralization – are being pressed into the service of states and transnational organizations: it has therefore become critical to focus on their techniques, effects and affects through fine-grained ethnography that challenges the economization of the political. We demonstrate our approach through some ethnographic findings from different parts of India. These show how fiscal austerity leads to new limited social contracts and precarious intimacies with the post-liberalization Indian state. This relationship between new public goods and forms of precarious citizenship is then further illuminated by the six articles that follow in this special issue.