University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Centre of African Studies Lent Seminar Series > Between the Moral and Market Economy: Rebel Taxation as a Technology of Governance

Between the Moral and Market Economy: Rebel Taxation as a Technology of Governance

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Why do rebels engage in taxation? I argue that the economic instrumentalism that underlines most studies is inadequate for understanding the logic of rebel taxation. I introduce several potential political logics for rebel taxation. Some of these have no direct economic benefit while others are secondary to the economic rational. Based on fieldwork in South Sudan, India, Sri Lanka and Colombia, I illustrate these dynamics drawing on examples from recent conflicts. I conclude that taxation should be understood as a technology of governance that rebels deploy to define, regulate and control the economic and social life of civilian populations.

This talk is part of the Centre of African Studies Lent Seminar Series series.

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