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The social contract in Kautilya's Arthasastra and the Mauryan empire of ancient India

journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Lawson SmithLawson Smith
The taxation base articulated in Kautilya's Arthasastra has attracted renewed interest by economists. Their assessments have generally been positive. That it coheres with modern taxation principles and is indicative of the benign social contract Kautilya devised for his idealized state of territory-cum-people or janapada. The developmental hegemonic Kautilya-Mauryan state was in fact a domain as well as a tax state, endeavouring to monetize, marketize and expand the economy, However, its over-extensive public sector, close alignment with the higher classes, excess socio-economic regulation and revenue needs, resulted in a combined property, taxation and transfer regime that likely retarded entrepreneurship, private capital accumulation and long-run economic growth prospects. Thus the social contract subsisting in the Kautilya-Mauryan state was not as benign as frequently portrayed, despite laws, principles and doctrines in Dharmasastra and Arthasastra delimiting the constitutional metes and bounds of monarch and state.

Funding

Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)

History

Volume

4

Issue

2

Start Page

325

End Page

344

Number of Pages

20

ISSN

0972-5784

Location

New Delhi

Publisher

Serial Publications

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

Faculty of Business and Law; TBA Research Institute;

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Indian journal of economics and business.

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