Volume 14, Issue 1 – Barrett

DEMOCRATIC DISCOURSE, TAXATION AND HYPOTHECATION

By Jonathan Barrett

This article considers taxation from a perspective of democratic discourse and uses propositions for hypothecated taxes to illustrate transparency and government accountability. First, contemporary sovereignty in relation to taxation is sketched. Michel Foucault’s concept of ‘governmentality’ and its principal implications for taxation are taken into account. Second, Jürgen Habermas’s model of discursive democracy is outlined. Third, the principle of accountability and the practice of transparency are outlined. It is concluded that hypothecation is unlikely to enhance accountability in taxation, which, from a perspective of discursive democracy, should be pursued through an open and honest discourse between accountable government and its citizens.

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