Tax Network

Researcher Profiles

Matti Eräsaari

Academy of Finland, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Helsinki, Finland

He specialises in Oceanic ethnography, and has written, for example, about exchange, value, funerals, food, and drink in Fiji. Eräsaari's most recent research projects have dealt with time: he spent 2015-2017 at the University of Manchester working on a project entitled, “Eating money, eating time: The value of time in Fiji”. He currently works on comparative Finnish materials from a Helsinki-based timebank and from the time-allocation systems employed at Finnish universities.


Eräsaari’s research deals with taxation in two particular instances: Finnish timebanking and Fijian bookkeeping. His work on the Helsinki Timebank (in the 2020 issue of Social Analysis 64(2)) highlights the timebank’s struggle to maintain its own value regime which differs radically from the one issued in the Finnish Tax Administration’s instructions for timebanking in Finland. Eräsaari’s work on Fijian “cash books” (Finnish-language book chapter under review) analyses village-level fundraising and its accounting practices as the expression of a particular Fijian moral economy embedded within colonial-era state proceduralism. In both instances, Eräsaari pays particular attention to the way number and quantity become subject to moral evaluations.


Nicolette Makovicky

Lecturer in Russian and East European Studies, University of Oxford

Nicolette Makovicky is Lecturer (equiv. Assistant Professor) in Russian and East European Studies at the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies, University of Oxford. She has published on themes including labor, ethics, informal economy, tax, and entrepreneurialism in Slovakia and Poland. Her current interests are the political economy of handicrafts and pastoralism in Central Europe, and moral economies of corruption and tax fraud.


She is particularly interested in the way diverse cultural and political contexts - including histories of citizenship and moralities of exchange - may influence participation in collaborative tax regulation. She co-edited the recent special issue Beyond the Social Contract: An Anthropology of Tax with Robin Smith.


Dr Makovicky is the editor of Neoliberalism, Personhood, Postsocialism: Enterprising Selves in Changing Economies (Ashgate, 2014), and co-editor of Economies of Favour after Socialism (University of Oxford Press, 2016) and Slogans: Subjection, Subversion and the Politics of Neoliberalism (Routledge 2018).

Miranda Sheild Johansson

Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Department of Anthropology, University College London

Her current project, ‘Becoming a Tax Payer: Fiscal Expansion and Economic Subjectivities in Bolivia’, explores the experiences of recent rural-to-urban migrants as they encounter and make sense of expanding national tax structures into which they are being incorporated. Key areas of focus include: indigenous perspectives on tax, statecraft in Latin America, fiscal exchange logics, and the Social Contract. Miranda has also published on themes of agricultural labour, the value of productivity, and animate landscapes in Bolivia.


Miranda is the co-editor of a forthcoming volume on the anthropology of tax and the author of the Tax entry in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Anthropology. She has published pieces on Andean fiscal cultures in Social Analysis and History and Anthropology. Together with Dr Soumhya Venkatesan she has secured funding from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for a workshop on the Anthropology of tax, now scheduled for Spring 2021. 



Robin Smith

ISRF Political Economy Fellow, University of Oxford

I maintain this website! Welcome!

I am an economic anthropologist of post-socialist Europe. My research is presently on financial practices in the agribusiness sector in southeastern Europe.

My tax research focuses on the unintended consequences of tax reforms for rural Croatian entrepreneurs. I contributed to and co-edited the journal special issue Beyond the Social Contract: An Anthropology of Tax, with Nicolette Makovicky. I am also working on a book chapter about the difficulties for Croatian farmers of adopting what the EU considers basic business technologies. This will be for an edited volume on the anthropology of tax for which I am co-editor with Miranda Sheild Johansson and Johanna Mugler.

My monograph, An honest market: Economic governance the Istrian way, based on my doctoral research on economic resiliency in the Istrian business community, is in progress.