Miranda Sheild Johansson

Miranda Sheild Johansson
University College London | UCL · Department of Anthropology

Doctor of Philosophy
Anthropology of tax - fiscal relations, the logics of fiscal exchanges, the social impact of fiscal systems

About

14
Publications
273
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Citations
Introduction
Miranda Sheild Johansson is a Senior Research Fellow at UCL. Her Leverhulme-funded project, ‘Becoming a Tax Payer: Fiscal Expansion and Economic Subjectivities in Bolivia’, is focused on the themes of: indigenous perspectives on tax, decolonising tax, statecraft in Latin America, the relationship between ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ money flows, fiscal exchange logics, and the social contract. In 2021 she joined the ERC-funded project ‘Anthropologies of Extortion’ (PI Professor Lucia Michelutti).
Education
October 2007 - October 2013

Publications

Publications (14)
Article
Full-text available
Coproduction brings together a diverse range of state and non-state actors to create and deliver public services. These processes, which occur across the Global South, have been widely studied. However, insufficient critical attention has been paid to their politics. We address this gap in the literature by analysing the politics of coproduction in...
Article
Full-text available
Paying tax or avoiding tax is part of everyday life across the globe. But what kinds of payments are taxes, and how do fiscal systems shape society? Taxes are often conceived of as a nexus of state-citizen relations and an intrinsic part of a social contract where they are exchanged for political representation and a level of state protection. But...
Article
Full-text available
What are the physical experiences of fieldwork really like? This article invites anthropologists engaged in teaching to transform the way research methods are currently taught to include frank and thoughtful conversations on how bodies, in their mundane physicality, are implicated in fieldwork. While the (mindful) body that actively and purposefull...
Article
Full-text available
In peri-urban Cochabamba, Bolivia, the ‘informally’ employed population reject the government’s fiscal offer of taxes in return for welfare, infrastructure, and rights, including the offer’s underlying logic of reciprocity. Instead, they disaggregate the fiscal landscape by choosing to engage with some taxes and avoid others, understanding the exch...
Research
Full-text available
IAs the corona virus sweeps the world governments have scrambled to put together fiscal rescue packages. Unprecedented tax cuts, furlough schemes, bailout loans and grants have been rolled out in many countries, all with the aim of mitigating the economic impact of lockdowns. The shape of these fiscal moves matter, financially, politically and mora...
Article
This article discusses the rumour of gold in an indigenous, Andean community. As the rumour circulated, it triggered speculation regarding potential claims to the gold, as well as concerns about how extraction should be managed in order to maintain a good relationship with the animate landscape. Specifically, the rumour tested the previous flexibil...
Article
Full-text available
La conversión al bautismo en la comunidad de P'iya Qayma en mediados de los años 1980s puso fin al culto abierto de la tierra animada. Sin embargo, mientras que las prácticas religiosas previas pueden haber cambiado, la muerte misteriosa de un campesino expuso una creencia continua en, y compromiso con, los poderes de la tierra local. El artículo s...
Article
Full-text available
From Bolivia to the U.K. to Sweden, how people perceive their financial relationship with the state depends on everything from local culture-and history-to what the taxes and benefits are called.
Article
From Bolivia to the U.K. to Sweden, how people perceive their financial relationship with the state depends on everything from local culture—and history—to what the taxes and benefits are called. https://www.sapiens.org/culture/taxes-culture-bolivia/
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Up until very recently ayllu Kirkiyawi, province of Bolívar was unique amongst Bolivian ayllus for retaining a hereditary leader, Cacique. While surrounding communities moved to make this top post a rotative one many decades, and even centuries ago, Kirkiyawi only made this change in the last few years. The last Cacique was, through marriage, relat...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Perhaps the most obvious instant of how houses and notions of vivir bien come together in the Andes, is the Bolivian state's social housing program-viviendas sociales. In the peri-urban areas of Cochabamba, thousands of viviendas are being built every year. Here, the population approach the 'free' houses with suspicion; concerns over state expropri...
Article
Full-text available
Following the electoral success of left wing and pro-indigenous President Evo Morales, the indigenous poor in Bolivia find themselves at the centre of a new vision of the state, echoed by a fervent citizenship project to include them as contributing participants in this new Bolivia. The state is working to initiate these hitherto informally employe...
Thesis
This thesis analyses the central role of agricultural labour in the construction of personhood, landscape and work in an Andean ayllu. It is an ethnographic study based on fieldwork in a small subsistence farming village in the highlands of Bolivia. In employing a practice‐led approach and emphasising everyday labour, ambiguity and the realities of...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
The fellowship research explores the sociality of tax—how fiscal systems shape our relationships and identities, our ideas of who owes whom, and how history and culture in turn shapes tax action. The project investigates fiscal regimes in an anthropological fashion, comparatively and cross-culturally: spanning multiple fieldsites in Bolivia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. This actor-centered approach focused on sociality aims to re-shape academic and popular understandings of what taxes are and do—to democratise fiscal conversations.
Project
Anthropological enquires of extortion, gathering ethnographic data on extortion
Project
1.) To provide a thorough ethnographic account of what it means to become and be a taxpayer, thereby opening up a relatively new field of study within anthropology. Part of the value of this project lies in the unique ethnographic opportunity to investigate taxation at the moment when taxpayers are being configured and configuring themselves. 2.) To elucidate the relationship between cultures of taxation and economic change in Bolivia and wider Latin America. 3.) To contribute to serious development of the anthropology of taxation as a substantial field of study.