Taxation is one of the key issues of current political debate across the globe. References to past examples and foreign models play a major role in these debates. Yet we know very little about how precisely ideas about taxation were transferred within and between different countries. This book offers the first glimpse at how ideas about taxation travelled around the globe since the middle of the eighteenth century. It includes case studies from France in the mid-eighteenth century, the British Empire in the nineteenth century, and the 'American Empire' and the European Union in the late twentieth century, as well as exploring the International Monetary Fund. The book issues a word of caution to those policymakers who look for straightforward lessons from abroad: transfers of ideas about taxation were cumbersome, as they had to take account of socio-economic structures, administrative cultures, and patterns of political legitimacy.

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