This Bulletin discusses the increasing prominence of taxation issues on policy and political agendas in developing countries. Dismissing the premise that taxation is a dry and technical topic with no implications for development, the contributing authors reflect on the reasons for this rise, both in discussions about region-specific factors and on the underpinning global issue of the defeat of the neo-liberal aim to 'roll back the state'. With greater fiscal dependence of developing country governments on tax revenues should come, ideally, a greater accountability of the state to its citizens. Some articles discuss historic precedents for this but others reject that there is a connection, or that current reforms encourage such a connection. The final section of the Bulletin is a set of contributions that ask the question 'How can developing country governments tax more effectively?'