We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE
Informal Taxation in Ungoverned Spaces


Consideration of taxation policies and practices in locations often identified as “ungoverned spaces” leads to an important conclusion: classically “ungoverned spaces” frequently contain forms of taxation—of varying degrees of formality—outside the official state apparatus. This article uses examples of informal taxation and tax-like practices, particularly in the case of Nepal, to critically evaluate the definition and framing of “ungoverned spaces” in the modern age. It argues that although empirical evidence of non-government taxation practices remains limited, the fact that they occur at all raises implications for conventional understandings of political order and state building.