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Rebel Taxation

Payments made to non-state armed groups are often treated as predation. But rebels deploy multiple logics when constructing their taxation systems, many of which cannot be reduced to extortion. Rebels also use taxation as a “technology of governance” to resolve a number of social and political challenges related to constructing a wartime order. Drawing on field work in three different countries (Colombia, India, South Sudan), Zachariah Mampilly, Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, CUNY, looks at the distinct taxation systems established by armed groups in each.

In Colombia, the author focuses on the FARC-EP’s taxation of coca to reveal the ideological and political factors that shaped their taxation system. In India, he examines how the NSCN-IM implemented distinct taxation regimes across four distinct subnational areas of control. And finally, in South Sudan, he explores the role of external actors in shaping the nature of the rebel taxation system.

About the Speaker
Zachariah Mampilly is the Marxe Endowed Chair of International Affairs at the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, CUNY and a member of the doctoral faculty in the Department of Political Science at the Graduate Center, CUNY. He is the Co-Founder of the Program on African Social Research. He is the author of Rebel Rulers: Insurgent Governance and Civilian Life during War  and with Adam Branch, Africa Uprising: Popular Protest and Political Change. His writing has also appeared in Foreign Affairs, Jacobin, The Hindu, Africa's a Country, N+1, Dissent, Al Jazeera, The New York Times, The Washington Post​ and elsewhere. 

Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies

Start Date: March 21, 2024
Start Time: 12:00 pm
Location: Uris Hall