A Thrice-Told Tale: A Collaboration Between The Swedish Tax Agency And Academia

Lotta Björklund Larsen, Karin Thoresson, Ulf Johannesson



This is the story of a collaborative project involving the creation, development and teaching of a course on qualitative research, which was designed for all Swedish Tax Agency analysts. The collaboration took place between the Swedish Tax Agency and Linköping University, and this story is told from the perspective of three researchers: Lotta, Karin and Ulf. It was a successful course. However, this is not just a story about collaboration between academia and tax authority, but also one about how interdisciplinary approaches can create new knowledge. We argue that, due to our different backgrounds, and diverse interests and resources, the collaboration also gave us new insights into our daily research and analytic work. Our experience can perhaps inspire other collaborations between academia and tax administration.

Full Text:



Allingham, M.G., & Sandmo, A. (1972). Income tax evasion: A theoretical analysis. Journal of Public Economics, 1, 323-338.

Björklund Larsen, L. (2017). Shaping Taxpayers. Values in Action at the Swedish Tax Agency. New York: Berghahn Books.

Björklund Larsen, L. (2013). Moulding Knowledge into a Legal Complex: Para-ethnography at the Swedish Tax Agency. Journal of Business Anthropology, 2, 209-231.

Björklund Larsen, L. (2010). Illegal yet Licit: Justifying Informal Purchases of Work in Contemporary Sweden (ACTA UNIVERSITATIS). Stockholm: Stockholm Studies in Social Anthropology N.S. 2.

Boll, K. (2014a). Mapping tax compliance. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 25(4-5), 293-303.

Boll, K. (2014b). Shady car dealings and taxing work practices: An ethnography of a tax audit process. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 39(1), 1-19.

Boyer, D. (2008). Thinking through the Anthropology of Experts. Anthropology in Action, 15(2), 38-46.

Braithwaite, V. A. (2003). Taxing Democracy: Understanding Tax Avoidance and Evasion. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.

Callon, M. (1999). Actor-Network Theory: The Market Test. In J. J. H. Law (Ed.), Actor Network Theory and After (pp. 181-195). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Cefkin, M. (Ed.). (2010). Ethnography and the Corporate Encounter: Reflections on Research in and of Corporations. New York: Berghahn Books.

Clifford, J., & Marcus, G. E. (1986). Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Deeb, H., & Marcus, G. (2011). In the green room: An experiment in ethnographic method at the WTO. PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review, 34(1), 51-76.

Downey, G. (2008). Coaches as Phenomenologists: Para-Ethnographic Work in Sport. In Ian Maxwell (Ed.), Being There: After-Proceedings of the 2006 Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies (ADSA). Retrieved from http://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/handle/2123/2490

Elyachar, J. (2012). Before (And After) Neoliberalism: Tacit Knowledge, Secrets of the Trade, and the Public Sector in Egypt. Cultural Anthropology, 27(1), 76-96.

Evans-Pritchard, E. E. (1940). The Nuer: A Description of the Modes of Livelihood and Political Institutions of a Nilotic People. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Falzon, M-A. (Ed.) (2009). Multi-Sited Ethnography: Theory, Praxis and Locality in Contemporary Research. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.

Farnsworth, J., & Austrin, T. (2010). The ethnography of new media worlds? Following the case of global poker. New Media & Society, 12(7), 1120-1136.

Fluehr-Lobban, C. (2008). Collaborative anthropology as twenty-first-century ethical anthropology. Collaborative Anthropologies, 1(1), 175-182.

Hannerz, U. (2006). “Studying Down, Up, Sideways, Through, Backwards, Forwards, Away and at Home: Reflections on the Field Worries of an Expansive Discipline.” Book Section. In S M Coleman & P J Collins (Eds.). Locating the Field: Space, Place and Context in Anthropology, pp. 23–42. Oxford: Berg Publishers.

Hinson, G. (1999, November). 'You've Got to Include an Invitation': Engaged Reciprocity and Negotiated Purpose in Collaborative Ethnography. Paper presented at the 98th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Chicago, Illinois.

Holmes, D. R., & Marcus, G. E. (2005). Cultures of Expertise and the Management of Globalization: Toward the Re‐Functioning of Ethnography. In A. Ong & S. J. Collier (Eds.), Global Assemblages: Technology, Politics and Ethics as Anthropological Problems (pp. 235-252). Malden: Blackwell.

Holmes, D. R., & Marcus, G. E. (2006). Para-ethnography and the rise of the symbolic analyst. In M. S. Fisher & G. Downey (Eds.), Frontiers of capital: ethnographic reflections on the new economy (pp. 33-57). Durham: Duke University Press Books.

Holmes, D. R., & Marcus, G. E. (2008). Collaboration Today and the Re-Imagination of the Classic Scene of Fieldwork Encounter. Collaborative Anthropologies, 1, 81-101.

Justesen, L., & Mik-Meyer, N. (2011). Kvalitativa metoder: Från vetenskapsteori til praktik. Lund: Studentlitteratur.

Knorr-Cetina, K. (1999). Epistemic cultures: How the sciences make knowledge. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Konrad, M. (Ed.) (2012). Collaborators Collaborating: Counterparts in Anthropological Knowledge and International Research Relations. Oxford: Berghahn Books.

Lassiter, L. E. (2005). Collaborative Ethnography and Public Anthropology. Current Anthropology 46(1), 83-106.

Latour, B. (1990). Drawing things together. In M. Lynch & S. Woolgar (Eds.), Representation in Scientific Practice (pp. 19-68). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Latour, B., & Woolgar, S. (1986). Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Lederman, L. (2007). Statutory Speed Bumps: The Roles Third Parties Play in Tax Compliance. Stanford Law Review, 60(3), 695-743.

Marcus, G. E. (1995). Ethnography In/Of the World System: The Emergence of Multi-Sited Ethnography. Annual Review of Anthropology, 24, 95-117.

Mol, A. (2002). The Body Multiple: Ontology in Medical Practice. Durham: Duke University Press.

Nyqvist, A. (2008). Reform and Responsibility in the Remaking of the Swedish National Pension System: Opening the Orange Envelope. Stockholm: Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University.

Oats, L. (Ed.) (2012). Taxation: A Fieldwork Research Handbook. London and New York: Routledge.

Rawlings, G. & Braithwaite, V. (2003). Voices for Change: Australian Perspectives on Tax Administration. Australian Journal of Social Issues (Australian Council of Social Service) 38(3), 263-68.

Skatteverket. (2005). Right From The Start. Solna: Skatteverket.

SOU. (1996). Samverkan mellan högskolan och näringslivet. Stockholm.

Tuck, P. (2010). The Emergence of the Tax Official into a T-Shaped Knowledge Expert. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 21(7), 584-96.

Wolf, M. (1992). A Thrice-Told Tale: Feminism, Post-Modernism, and Ethnographic Responsibility. Stanford: Stanford University Press.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright ©  Journal of Tax Administration. All rights reserved. | Hosted by Docuracy Ltd | Powered by Open Journal Systems