"The Conflict of Taxation: Inquiring the Societal Structuring Process of Progressive Tax Reforms. A Case Study of the Uruguayan Frente Amplio Tax Policy (2005-2015)”
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Marianne Braig (FU Berlin)
This research project is situated in the field of political economy and aims to examine the interaction between progressive tax reform processes and socio-political conflict structures in Latin America. The objective of this investigation is to gain novel knowledge about governmental control possibilities on income redistribution policies. Therefore the tax policy of the first two Uruguayan Frente Amplio governments (2005-2015) is used as case study. The Frente Amplio, founded in 1971, is a heterogeneous coalition of political parties ranging from the extreme-left to the center-left of the political spectrum. In2005 the Frente Amplio succeeded for the first time to takeover government and introduced in 2006 an extensive tax reform including a uniform income tax. In the regional context of Latin America, which is marked by social inequality, regressive tax structures and insufficient social spending, the importance of this reform was highlighted by national and international observers. However the income tax reform sparked a fierce debate among the Uruguayans, which led the opposition parties to vote against the reform and promised to revoke it a soon as taking over the government.
An empirical analysis on the processes in this socio-political conflict of taxation will be carried out based on a series of in-depth interviews with members of different Uruguayan societal actors and their agents and combined with a broad media analysis on the debate in the media.