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Different Paths to the Modern State in Europe: The Interaction Between Warfare, Economic Structure, and Political Regime

Kıvanç Karaman and Sevket Pamuk ()

American Political Science Review, 2013, vol. 107, issue 3, 603-626

Abstract: Theoretical work on taxation and state-building borrows heavily from early modern European experience. While a number of European states increased centralized tax revenues during this period, for others revenues stagnated or even declined and these variations have motivated alternative arguments for the determinants of fiscal and state capacity. This study reviews the arguments concerning the three determinants that have received most attention, namely warfare, economic structure, and political regime, and tests them by making use of a new and comprehensive tax revenue dataset. Our main finding is that these three determinants worked in interaction with each other. Specifically, when under pressure of war, it was representative regimes in more urbanized-commercial economies and authoritarian regimes in more rural-agrarian economies that tended to better aggregate domestic interests towards state-building.

Date: 2013
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