How was a new infrastructure of revenue-collection instituted after the collapse of Soviet-type regimes in Eastern Europe? This article suggests that currently available answers to this question are unsatisfactory. Building upon insights derived from the literature on fiscal sociology and from Joseph Schumpeter’s analysis of modern “tax states,” it outlines a new approach to the study of various phenomena related to revenue-collection in postcommunism. More specifically, I examine a set of empirical and theoretical issues related to the reemergence of a taxpayer as having a cultural role, the reconfiguration of the bureaucratic apparatuses bequeathed by the old regime, and the recreation of trustworthy national currencies. Having identified important gaps in our understanding of the transformative processes that engulfed the region after 1989, the paper introduces a more comprehensive research program focused on the context-specific challenges inherent in the attempt to re-establish tax states in the formerly communist countries.

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