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.