The Leap of Faith: The Fiscal Foundations of Successful Government in Europe and America

ISBN : 9780198796817

Sven H. Steinmo
320 ページ
156 x 234 mm

Why are citizens in some countries more willing to pay taxes than in other countries? This book examines the history of the relationship between citizens and their states in five countries, (Sweden, Britain, Italy, Romania, and the United States), and demonstrates how and why people in in some countries have come to trust the government with their money while in other countries they do not. The book explores the evolution of this relationship in detail, in each case showing how some governments developed the fiscal and technical capacity to tax their citizens fairly and deliver public services efficiently. In short, how and why some countries became more trustworthy than others. The volume concludes by examining the implications of these five cases for developing countries today and the lessons that can be learned.


1 Sven H. Steinmo: Introduction: The Leap of Faith
2 Marina Nistotskaya and Michelle D'Arcy: Getting to Sweden: The Origins of High Compliance in the Swedish Tax State
3 Jenny Jansson: Creating Tax-compliant Citizens in Sweden: The Role of Social Democracy
4 Josef Hien: Tax Evasion in Italy: A God-given Right?
5 John D'Attoma: Explaining Italian Tax Compliance: A Historical Analysis
United Kingdom
6 Martin Daunton: Creating Consent: Taxation, War, and Good Government in Britain, 1688-1914
7 Liam Stanley: 'When We Were Just Giving Stuff Away Willy-Nilly': Historicizing Contemporary British Tax Morale
United States
8 Romain Huret: The Not-so-infernal Revenue Service? Tax Collection, Citizens and Compliance in the United States in the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Centuries
9 Carolyn Jones: Seeing Taxation in the Mid-Twentieth Century: U.S. Tax Compliance
10 Clara Volintiru: Tax Collection without Consent: State Building in Romania
11 Arpad Todor: Willing to Pay? The Politics of Engendering Faith in the Post-communist Romanian Tax System
12 Marcelo Bergman and Sven H. Steinmo: Taxation and Consent: Implications for Developing Nations


Sven Steinmo is Research Professor at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS), the European University Institute . He has published in a wide range of fields including political economy, comparative politics, American political development, economics, psychology, public policy, and evolutionary theory. His first book was awarded the Riker Prize for the Best Book in Political Economy by the APSA. His most recent book, The Evolution of the Modern State, was awarded the Gunnar Myrdal Prize for best book in Evolutionary Political Economy by the European Association for Evolutionary Economics.