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Capital, Coercion, and Postcommunist States$
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Gerald M. Easter

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451195

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451195.001.0001

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Toward a Fiscal Sociology of the Postcommunist State

Toward a Fiscal Sociology of the Postcommunist State

(p.8) 1 Toward a Fiscal Sociology of the Postcommunist State
Capital, Coercion, and Postcommunist States

Gerald M. Easter

Cornell University Press

This chapter challenges the neoliberal-influenced conceptualization of “the state,” whose society-centered assumptions dominated postcommunist studies to the detriment of the early research agenda. As an alternative, it proposes a state-centered approach based on Schumpeterian fiscal sociology and Tillyesque political development. The chapter begins with an overview of the neoliberal paradigm's basic assumptions about human nature, society, and the state. It then considers the critique of neoliberalism, focusing on one conceptual alternative to the neoliberal state: the “captured state.” It also discusses the political economy approach to taxation in postcommunist states and compares it with the political institutions approach, the political culture approach, and the political development approach. Finally, it explains the assumptions of fiscal sociology as a framework for understanding the origin and character of the postcommunist state.

Keywords:   fiscal sociology, political development, neoliberalism, captured state, political economy, taxation, postcommunist state, political institutions, political culture

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