Training in Citizenship: Tax Compliance and Modernity

53 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2006

See all articles by Assaf Likhovski

Assaf Likhovski

Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law


Do the attempts of modern states to foster tax compliance reflect wider attributes of modernity? This article analyzes the history of the creation of a tax compliance culture in Israel of the 1950s and the various practices, techniques and discourses that were deployed by the state to create model taxpaying citizens. It shows how the specific history of tax compliance can be understood as part of a wider phenomenon, the desire of modern states to create self-policing, normalized subjects. By interpreting the history of tax compliance critically, as part of the attempt of the state to control its citizens, the article suggests a new way of understanding the history of 20th century tax compliance generally and more specifically the history of judicial attempts to tackle tax evasion and tax avoidance.

Keywords: Tax, Tax Evasion, Tax Avoidance, Tax Compliance, Tax history, Legal History, Cultural History, Economic History, Comparative Law, Comparative Taxation, Foucault, Normalization, Modernity, State Formation, Law and Society, Law and Culture, Critical Tax Theory, Social Norms

JEL Classification: B29, H26, K34, K42, N45, O17, O23, O53, P51, Z10

Suggested Citation

Likhovski, Assaf, Training in Citizenship: Tax Compliance and Modernity. Law and Social Inquiry, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Assaf Likhovski (Contact Author)

Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law ( email )

Ramat Aviv
Tel Aviv 69978
+972-3-6406381 (Phone)

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