The scholarship on state-building has devoted a significant amount of attention to the role of taxation in building state institutions and capacities. It has also emphasised the crucial role of taxation in driving state-society relations. Scholars have argued that the linkage between taxation and state building also applies to the area of social policy. In this paper, we draw on a fiscal-centred perspective on welfare state development that highlights the fiscal policy role of social insurance as a revenue raising institution to study the fiscal relationship between social insurance and state-building in Israel and Canada - two 'most dissimilar cases' that nonetheless feature strikingly similar patterns with regard to this relationship. As our findings show, in both cases, social insurance programmes were introduced, designed, and utilized to advance fiscal and economic policy capacity and thereby promote state building. Using these programmes and the commitments they created, political actors could legitimize the generation of revenues, build institutional infrastructure for tax collection, and create capital reserves for investing in the economy.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
A previous version of this paper was presented at the 2017 annual conference of the Research Committee 19 (Poverty, Social Welfare and Social Policy) of the International Sociological Association (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill). The authors thank the conference participants, Rachel Hatcher, John Myles and the anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions. Daniel Béland acknowledges support from the Canada Research Chairs Program.
© Cambridge University Press 2018.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Public Administration
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law