The New Politics of Development: Fragility, Taxation and State-building

Wed 7 Nov 2018
Time: 09:00 Location: Forskningsparken, Oslo Language: English Available seats: 70
Add to calendar 18-11-7 09:00 18-11-8 16:00 38 The New Politics of Development: Fragility, Taxation and State-building The TaxCapDev Research Network invites you to this two-day conference on taxation and state building in fragile states. Forskningsparken, Oslo NUPI false DD/MM/YYYY

The TaxCapDev Research Network invites you to this two-day conference on taxation and state building in fragile states.

Without revenues, states cannot function. Efficient domestic resource mobilization in the form of improved tax regimes and natural resource management therefore constitutes the key to sustainable state building. While this is evident, the difficult question is how to achieve this. How can states build the necessary institutional apparatus that combines coercion with legitimacy? How can donors support and facilitate such processes?

In the past, transfer of knowledge has mainly been from the Global North to the Global South. However, the question that this conference asks is what can countries in the South learn from each other. Several developing countries have managed to crack the code of taxation and natural resource management. It is therefore timely to ask what works and what does not work, and why? In particular, what conditions need to be in place to develop the fiscal capacity of fragile and conflict prone states to support state building and peace? What lessons can be drawn from the arbitrary, but still sometimes functional, practices of taxation and natural resource management that do take place in such countries? What are the interests and incentives of elites in this regard, and what is the potential to initiate tax reforms?

The conference will be based on presentations from countries that have experienced some success in building more effective regimes for taxation and natural resource management, and from countries who has yet to effectively start this process. The aim of the conference is to establish a platform for exchange of knowledge and experiences of taxation and state building in fragile states.

The conference is hosted by the TaxCapDev Research Network, NUPI, CMI and Tax Justice Network –Norway, and will last for two days from 7 to 9 November 2018. The evening event on 7 November is co-hosted by the Norwegian Council for Africa.

Wednesday 7 November


NUPI Book launch, "Taxing Africa: Coercion, Reform and Development" by Odd-Helge Fjeldstad (CMI/ATI/ICTD) and Mick Moore (IDS/ICTD).

Chair: Merima Ali (CMI, Syracuse University)

Discussant: Arvinn Gadgil (MFA, Norway)

Location: NUPI


Documentary: "Code Minier – Conflict and mineral resources in DR Congo" by Bodil Furu (Visual artist and filmmaker, Norway)

Welcome by Morten Bøås (NUPI) and Johan N. Hermstad (Norwegian Council for Africa)

Location: Amalie Skram, Litteraturhuset (House of Literature)


Panel discussion led by Morten Bøås with Bodil FuruAloys Tegera (Pole Institute, DR Congo), Randi Solhjell (Norwegian Police University College), and Gunnell Sandanger (Rainforest Foundation Norway).

Location: Amalie Skram, Litteraturhuset (House of Literature)

Thursday 8 November

Location: Forum, Forskningsparken


Coffee and registration


Welcoming addresses

Morten Bøås (NUPI)

Nikolai Astrup (Minister of Development Cooperation, Norway)

Bjørn Tore Kjellemo (RCN)


Keynote address: Mick Moore (IDS)

Chair: Fredrik Aksnes (Norwegian Tax Administration)



Coffee and refreshments


Session 1: Taxation and state building: Lessons for fragile states

Chair: Tony Addison (WIDER-UNU, Finland)

Odd-Helge Fjeldstad (CMI/ATI/ICTD)

Attiya Waris (University of Nairobi)

Jonathan Weigel (LSE)

Olav Lundstøl (Norad)





Session 2: Challenges for fragile states: getting the basics right

Chair: Benedict Doh (TJN Africa, Kenya)

Morten Bøås (NUPI)

Abdoul Wahab Cissé (AGRA, Senegal)

Dlawer Ala’Aldeen (Middle East Research Institute, Erbil, KRG)

Merima Ali (CMI & Syracuse University)


Coffee and refreshments


Panel debate: Natural resources: from resource curse to development

Chair: Kendra Dupuy (PRIO/CMI)

Elise Must (Hydro, Norway)

Tony Addison (WIDER-UNU, Finland)

Aloys Tegera (Pole Institute, DR Congo)

Alexandra Readhead (International Taxation and Extractive Industries Consultant)


Conference dinner. Please send an email to to attend the dinner.

Location: Louise Restaurant & Bar

Friday 9 November

Location: Forum, Forskningsparken




Session 3: Taxation and revenue mobilisation from below: Perspectives from civil society and the private sector

Chair: Sigrid Klæboe Jacobsen (TJN, Norway)

Elisabeth Eide (OsloMet, Norway)

Benedict Doh (TJN, Africa)

Sarajuddin Isar (AREU/SOAS)

Erlend Bjørtvedt (Telenor Group, Norway)


Coffee and refreshments


Session 4: Non-state tax actors in fragile states

Chair & Discussant: Kevin Dunn (Hobart and William Smith Colleges)

Morten Bøås (NUPI)

Dlawer Ala’Aldeen (Middle East Research Institute, Erbil, KRG)

Aloys Tegera (Pole Institute, DR Kongo)

James Suah Shilue (Platform for Dialogue and Peace, Liberia)

Qayoom Suroush (Afghanistan Research and Evalution Unit, Kabul, Afghanistan)




Roundtable discussion: What have we learned? Lessons and challenges for policy work

Chair: Ingrid Hjertaker (TJN – Norway)

Riel Franzsen (ATI)

Mick Moore (IDS)

Reza Lahidji(Menon Economics)

Arvinn Gadgil (MFA, Norway)

Lyydia Kilpi(EITI)

Attiya Waris (University of Nairobi)


Concluding remarks and the way forward

Morten Bøås (NUPI) and Odd-Helge Fjeldstad (CMI/ATI/ICTD)