This book has explored the emergence of two different postcommunist states: a “contractual” state in Poland and a “predatory” state in Russia. It has shown how the Polish state evolved with greater checks on political power and how the power resources of the old communist state were redistributed. By contrast, the Russian state evolved with fewer constraints on political power. Coercion remained in the service of politics, while civilian control and legal constraints were ineffective and weak. As a result, capital remained vulnerable to state predation. This book has also examined the role played by taxation in the battles over coercion and capital, along with the divergent state-building outcomes in Poland and Russia using a “fiscal sociology” approach. Finally, it has investigated the initial conditions, the politics of revenue bargaining, the norms of behavior in the transitional tax regimes, the development of state fiscal capacity, and the reconfiguration of state–society relations in Poland and Russia.
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