Seeing Like a State

Seeing Like a State
Author: James C. Scott
Release: 2020-03-17
Editor: Yale University Press
Pages: 480
ISBN: 9780300252989
Language: en
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“One of the most profound and illuminating studies of this century to have been published in recent decades.”—John Gray, New York Times Book Review Hailed as “a magisterial critique of top-down social planning” by the New York Times, this essential work analyzes disasters from Russia to Tanzania to uncover why states so often fail—sometimes catastrophically—in grand efforts to engineer their society or their environment, and uncovers the conditions common to all such planning disasters. “Beautifully written, this book calls into sharp relief the nature of the world we now inhabit.”—New Yorker “A tour de force.”— Charles Tilly, Columbia University

Seeing Like a State

Seeing Like a State
Author: James C. Scott
Release: 2020-03-17
Editor: Yale University Press
Pages: 464
ISBN: 9780300246759
Language: en
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REVIEWS:

"One of the most profound and illuminating studies of this century to have been published in recent decades."--John Gray, New York Times Book Review Hailed as "a magisterial critique of top-down social planning" by the New York Times, this essential work analyzes disasters from Russia to Tanzania to uncover why states so often fail--sometimes catastrophically--in grand efforts to engineer their society or their environment, and uncovers the conditions common to all such planning disasters. "Beautifully written, this book calls into sharp relief the nature of the world we now inhabit."--New Yorker "A tour de force."-- Charles Tilly, Columbia University

Two Cheers for Anarchism

Two Cheers for Anarchism
Author: James C. Scott
Release: 2014-03-10
Editor: Princeton University Press
Pages: 200
ISBN: 9780691161037
Language: en
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James Scott taught us what's wrong with seeing like a state. Now, in his most accessible and personal book to date, the acclaimed social scientist makes the case for seeing like an anarchist. Inspired by the core anarchist faith in the possibilities of voluntary cooperation without hierarchy, Two Cheers for Anarchism is an engaging, high-spirited, and often very funny defense of an anarchist way of seeing--one that provides a unique and powerful perspective on everything from everyday social and political interactions to mass protests and revolutions. Through a wide-ranging series of memorable anecdotes and examples, the book describes an anarchist sensibility that celebrates the local knowledge, common sense, and creativity of ordinary people. The result is a kind of handbook on constructive anarchism that challenges us to radically reconsider the value of hierarchy in public and private life, from schools and workplaces to retirement homes and government itself. Beginning with what Scott calls "the law of anarchist calisthenics," an argument for law-breaking inspired by an East German pedestrian crossing, each chapter opens with a story that captures an essential anarchist truth. In the course of telling these stories, Scott touches on a wide variety of subjects: public disorder and riots, desertion, poaching, vernacular knowledge, assembly-line production, globalization, the petty bourgeoisie, school testing, playgrounds, and the practice of historical explanation. Far from a dogmatic manifesto, Two Cheers for Anarchism celebrates the anarchist confidence in the inventiveness and judgment of people who are free to exercise their creative and moral capacities.

Politics of Urbanism

Politics of Urbanism
Author: Warren Magnusson
Release: 2013-07-03
Editor: Routledge
Pages: 200
ISBN: 9781136671715
Language: en
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To see like a city, rather than seeing like a state, is the key to understanding modern politics. In this book, Magnusson draws from theorists such as Weber, Wirth, Hayek, Jacobs, Sennett, and Foucault to articulate some of the ideas that we need to make sense of the city as a form of political order. Locally and globally, the city exists by virtue of complicated patterns of government and self-government, prompted by proximate diversity. A multiplicity of authorities in different registers is typical. Sovereignty, although often claimed, is infinitely deferred. What emerges by virtue of self-organization is not susceptible to control by any central authority, and so we are impelled to engage politically in a world that does not match our expectations of sovereignty. How then are we are to engage realistically and creatively? We have to begin from where we are if we are to understand the possibilities. Building on traditions of political and urban theory in order to advance a new interpretation of the role of cities/urbanism in contemporary political life, this work will be of great interest to scholars of political theory and urban theory, international relations theory and international relations.

Seeing Like a City

Seeing Like a City
Author: Ash Amin,Nigel Thrift
Release: 2017-01-09
Editor: John Wiley & Sons
Pages: 216
ISBN: 9781509515622
Language: en
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Seeing like a city means recognizing that cities are living things made up of a tangle of networks, built up from the agency of countless actors. Cities must not be considered as expressions of larger paradigms or sites of human effort and organization alone. Within their density, size and sprawl can be found a world of symbols, bodies, buildings, technologies and infrastructures. It is the machine-like combination, interaction and confrontation of these different elements that make a city. Such a view locates urban outcomes and influences in the character of these networks, which together power urban life, allocating resources, shaping social opportunities, maintaining order and simply enabling life. More than the silent stage on which other powers perform, such networks represent the essence of the city. They also form an important political project, a politics of small interventions with large effects. The increasing evidence for an Anthropocene bears out the way in which humanity has stamped its footprint on the planet by constructing urban forms that act as systems for directing life in ways that create both immense power and immense constraint.

Agrarian Studies

Agrarian Studies
Author: James C. Scott,Nina Bhatt
Release: 2001-01-01
Editor: Yale University Press
Pages: 310
ISBN: 9780300085020
Language: en
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This book presents an account of an intellectual breakthrough in the study of rural society and agriculture. Its ten chapters, selected for their originality and synthesis from the colloquia of the Program in Agrarian Studies at Yale University, encompass various disciplines, diverse historical periods, and several regions of the world. The contributors' fresh analyses will broaden the perspectives of readers with interests as wide-ranging as rural sociology, environmentalism, political science, history, anthropology, economics, and art history. The ten studies recast and expand what is known about rural society and agrarian issues, examining such topics as poverty, subsistence, cultivation, ecology, justice, art, custom, law, ritual life, cooperation, and state action. Each contribution provides a point of departure for new study, encouraging deeper thinking across disciplinary boundaries and frontiers.

Against the Grain

Against the Grain
Author: James C. Scott
Release: 2017
Editor: Unknown
Pages: 312
ISBN: 0302240217
Language: en
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An account of all the new and surprising evidence now available for the beginnings of the earliest civilizations that contradict the standard narrative. Why did humans abandon hunting and gathering for sedentary communities dependent on livestock and cereal grains, and governed by precursors of today's states? Most people believe that plant and animal domestication allowed humans, finally, to settle down and form agricultural villages, towns, and states, which made possible civilization, law, public order, and a presumably secure way of living. But archaeological and historical evidence challenges this narrative. The first agrarian states, says James C. Scott, were born of accumulations of domestications: first fire, then plants, livestock, subjects of the state, captives, and finally women in the patriarchal family-all of which can be viewed as a way of gaining control over reproduction. Scott explores why we avoided sedentism and plow agriculture, the advantages of mobile subsistence, the unforeseeable disease epidemics arising from crowding plants, animals, and grain, and why all early states are based on millets and cereal grains and unfree labor. He also discusses the "barbarians" who long evaded state control, as a way of understanding continuing tension between states and nonsubject peoples.

The Art of Not Being Governed

The Art of Not Being Governed
Author: James C. Scott
Release: 2009-01-01
Editor: Yale University Press
Pages: 442
ISBN: 9780300156522
Language: en
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For two thousand years the disparate groups that now reside in Zomia (a mountainous region the size of Europe that consists of portions of seven Asian countries) have fled the projects of the organized state societies that surround them--slavery, conscription, taxes, corvee labor, epidemics, and warfare. This book, essentially an anarchist history, is the first-ever examination of the huge literature on state-making whose author evaluates why people would deliberately and reactively remain stateless. Among the strategies employed by the people of Zomia to remain stateless are physical dispersion in rugged terrain; agricultural practices that enhance mobility; pliable ethnic identities; devotion to prophetic, millenarian leaders; and maintenance of a largely oral culture that allows them to reinvent their histories and genealogies as they move between and around states. In accessible language, James Scott, recognized worldwide as an eminent authority in Southeast Asian, peasant, and agrarian studies, tells the story of the peoples of Zomia and their unlikely odyssey in search of self-determination. He redefines our views on Asian politics, history, demographics, and even our fundamental ideas about what constitutes civilization, and challenges us with a radically different approach to history that presents events from the perspective of stateless peoples and redefines state-making as a form of internal colonialism. This new perspective requires a radical reevaluation of the civilizational narratives of the lowland states. Scott's work on Zomia represents a new way to think of area studies that will be applicable to other runaway, fugitive, and marooned communities, be they Gypsies, Cossacks, tribes fleeing slave raiders, Marsh Arabs, or San-Bushmen.

Domination and the Arts of Resistance

Domination and the Arts of Resistance
Author: James C. Scott
Release: 2008-10-01
Editor: Yale University Press
Pages: 269
ISBN: 9780300153569
Language: en
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"Play fool, to catch wise."--proverb of Jamaican slaves Confrontations between the powerless and powerful are laden with deception--the powerless feign deference and the powerful subtly assert their mastery. Peasants, serfs, untouchables, slaves, laborers, and prisoners are not free to speak their minds in the presence of power. These subordinate groups instead create a secret discourse that represents a critique of power spoken behind the backs of the dominant. At the same time, the powerful also develop a private dialogue about practices and goals of their rule that cannot be openly avowed. In this book, renowned social scientist James C. Scott offers a penetrating discussion both of the public roles played by the powerful and powerless and the mocking, vengeful tone they display off stage--what he terms their public and hidden transcripts. Using examples from the literature, history, and politics of cultures around the world, Scott examines the many guises this interaction has taken throughout history and the tensions and contradictions it reflects. Scott describes the ideological resistance of subordinate groups--their gossip, folktales, songs, jokes, and theater--their use of anonymity and ambiguity. He also analyzes how ruling elites attempt to convey an impression of hegemony through such devices as parades, state ceremony, and rituals of subordination and apology. Finally, he identifies--with quotations that range from the recollections of American slaves to those of Russian citizens during the beginnings of Gorbachev's glasnost campaign--the political electricity generated among oppressed groups when, for the first time, the hidden transcript is spoken directly and publicly in the face of power. His landmark work will revise our understanding of subordination, resistance, hegemony, folk culture, and the ideas behind revolt.

False Dawn

False Dawn
Author: John Gray
Release: 2010-09
Editor: ReadHowYouWant.com
Pages: 464
ISBN: 9781459603219
Language: en
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Argues that societies and peoples all over the world are being forced to participate in an experiment in liberal social engineering. The new world order created by the fall of communism has given birth to its own utopian delusion: the idea that only the complete freeing of the market in all areas of human life can deliver prosperity and stability.

Seeing Like a Commons

Seeing Like a Commons
Author: Joshua Lockyer
Release: 2021-05-15
Editor: Rowman & Littlefield
Pages: 284
ISBN: 9781498592895
Language: en
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In Seeing Like a Commons, Joshua Lockyer traces the development of one of the United States's oldest intentional communities from its founding in 1937 to the present. Lockyer examines how community members have developed flexible sets of cooperative processes for the stewardship of the land and other resources.

Seeing Like a Feminist

Seeing Like a Feminist
Author: Nivedita Menon
Release: 2012-12-01
Editor: Penguin UK
Pages: 120
ISBN: 9788184757705
Language: en
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THE WORLD THROUGH A FEMINIST LENS For Nivedita Menon, feminism is not about a moment of final triumph over patriarchy but about the gradual transformation of the social field so decisively that old markers shift forever. From sexual harassment charges against international figures to the challenge that caste politics poses to feminism, from the ban on the veil in France to the attempt to impose skirts on international women badminton players, from queer politics to domestic servants’ unions to the Pink Chaddi campaign, Menon deftly illustrates how feminism complicates the field irrevocably. Incisive, eclectic and politically engaged, Seeing like a Feminist is a bold and wide-ranging book that reorders contemporary society.

Seeing Like an Activist

Seeing Like an Activist
Author: Erin R. Pineda
Release: 2021-03-12
Editor: Oxford University Press
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780197526453
Language: en
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There are few movements more firmly associated with civil disobedience than the Civil Rights Movement. In the mainstream imagination, civil rights activists eschewed coercion, appealed to the majority's principles, and submitted willingly to legal punishment in order to demand necessary legislative reforms and facilitate the realization of core constitutional and democratic principles. Their fidelity to the spirit of the law, commitment to civility, and allegiance to American democracy set the normative standard for liberal philosophies of civil disobedience. This narrative offers the civil disobedience of the Civil Rights Movement as a moral exemplar: a blueprint for activists who seek transformative change and racial justice within the bounds of democracy. Yet in this book, Erin R. Pineda shows how it more often functions as a disciplining examplea means of scolding activists and quieting dissent. As Pineda argues, the familiar account of Civil Rights disobedience not only misremembers history; it also distorts our political judgments about how civil disobedience might fit into democratic politics. Seeing Like an Activist charts the emergence of this influential account of civil disobedience in the Civil Rights Movement, and demonstrates its reliance on a narrative about black protest that is itself entangled with white supremacy. Liberal political theorists whose work informed decades of scholarship saw civil disobedience "like a white state": taking for granted the legitimacy of the constitutional order, assuming as primary the ends of constitutional integrity and stability, centering the white citizen as the normative ideal, and figuring the problem of racial injustice as limited, exceptional, and all-but-already solved. Instead, this book "sees" civil disobedience from the perspective of an activist, showing the consequences for ideas about how civil disobedience ought to unfold in the present. Building on historical and archival evidence, Pineda shows how civil rights activists, in concert with anticolonial movements across the globe, turned to civil disobedience as a practice of decolonization in order to emancipate themselves and others, and in the process transform the racial order. Pineda recovers this powerful alternative account by adopting a different theoretical approach--one which sees activists as themselves engaged in the creative work of political theorizing.

The Elephant in the Brain

The Elephant in the Brain
Author: Kevin Simler,Robin Hanson
Release: 2018
Editor: Oxford University Press
Pages: 397
ISBN: 9780190495992
Language: en
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Human beings are primates, and primates are political animals. Our brains, therefore, are designed not just to hunt and gather, but also to help us get ahead socially, often via deception and self-deception. But while we may be self-interested schemers, we benefit by pretending otherwise. The less we know about our own ugly motives, the better - and thus we don't like to talk or even think about the extent of our selfishness. This is "the elephant in the brain." Such an introspective taboo makes it hard for us to think clearly about our nature and the explanations for our behavior. The aim of this book, then, is to confront our hidden motives directly - to track down the darker, unexamined corners of our psyches and blast them with floodlights. Then, once everything is clearly visible, we can work to better understand ourselves: Why do we laugh? Why are artists sexy? Why do we brag about travel? Why do we prefer to speak rather than listen? Our unconscious motives drive more than just our private behavior; they also infect our venerated social institutions such as Art, School, Charity, Medicine, Politics, and Religion. In fact, these institutions are in many ways designed to accommodate our hidden motives, to serve covert agendas alongside their "official" ones. The existence of big hidden motives can upend the usual political debates, leading one to question the legitimacy of these social institutions, and of standard policies designed to favor or discourage them. You won't see yourself - or the world - the same after confronting the elephant in the brain.

Border Work

Border Work
Author: Madeleine Reeves
Release: 2014-03-04
Editor: Cornell University Press
Pages: 312
ISBN: 9780801470899
Language: en
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In Central Asia’s Ferghana Valley, where Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan meet, state territoriality has taken on new significance in these states’ second decade of independence, reshaping landscapes and transforming livelihoods in a densely populated, irrigation-dependent region. Through an innovative ethnography of social and spatial practice at the limits of the state, Border Work explores the contested work of producing and policing “territorial integrity” when significant stretches of new international borders remain to be conclusively demarcated or effectively policed. Drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, Madeleine Reeves follows traders, farmers, water engineers, conflict analysts, and border guards as they negotiate the practical responsibilities and social consequences of producing, policing, and deriving a livelihood across new international borders that are often encountered locally as “chessboards” rather than lines. She shows how the negotiation of state spatiality is bound up with concerns about legitimate rule and legitimate movement, and explores how new attempts to secure the border, materially and militarily, serve to generate new sources of lived insecurity in a context of enduring social and economic inter-dependence. A significant contribution to Central Asian studies, border studies, and the contemporary anthropology of the state, Border Work moves beyond traditional ethnographies of the borderland community to foreground the effortful and intensely political work of producing state space.

Public Administration and the State

Public Administration and the State
Author: Michael W. Spicer
Release: 2005-07-03
Editor: University of Alabama Press
Pages: 157
ISBN: 9780817352394
Language: en
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In this critical examination of public administration's pervasive vision of a powerful state, Spicer thoughtfully reconsiders the relationship between activities of governance and concepts of the state. Woodrow Wilson argued for a state led by a powerful government, guided by science and enlightened experts, for the accomplishment of a set of collective purposes—in other words, a purposive state. Michael Spicer contends that though Wilson and those who followed him have not typically explored questions of political and constitutional theory in their writing, a clear and strong vision of the state has emerged in their work nonetheless. Building upon the work of Dwight Waldo and others who have sought to explore and reveal the political theory behind the seemingly neutral language of administration, Spicer explores the roots—both historical and philosophical—of the purposive state. He considers the administrative experience of 18th-century Prussia and its relationship to the vision of the purposive state, and examines the ways this idea has been expressed in the 20th century. He then looks at the practical problems such a vision creates for public policy in a fragmented postmodern political culture. Finally, Spicer explores an alternative view of public administration—one based on a civil association model appropriate to our constitutional traditions and contemporary culture.

The Encrypted State

The Encrypted State
Author: David Nugent
Release: 2019-08-13
Editor: Stanford University Press
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781503609723
Language: en
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What happens when a seemingly rational state becomes paranoid and delusional? The Encrypted State engages in a close analysis of political disorder to shed new light on the concept of political stability. The book focuses on a crisis of rule in mid-20th-century Peru, a period when officials believed they had lost the ability to govern and communicated in secret code to protect themselves from imaginary subversives. The Encrypted State engages the notion of sacropolitics—the politics of mass group sacrifice—to make sense of state delusion. Nugent interrogates the forces that variously enable or disable organized political subjection, and the role of state structures in this process. Investigating the role of everyday cultural practices and how affect and imagination structure political affairs, Nugent provides a greater understanding of the conditions of state formation, and failure.

Desert Lake

Desert Lake
Author: Mandy Martin,John Carty,Steve Morton,Kim Mahood
Release: 2013-03-04
Editor: CSIRO PUBLISHING
Pages: 312
ISBN: 9780643108394
Language: en
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Desert Lake is a book combining artistic, scientific and Indigenous views of a striking region of north-western Australia. Paruku is the place that white people call Lake Gregory. It is Walmajarri land, and its people live on their Country in the communities of Mulan and Billiluna. This is a story of water. When Sturt Creek flows from the north, it creates a massive inland Lake among the sandy deserts. Not only is Paruku of national significance for waterbirds, but it has also helped uncover the past climatic and human history of Australia. Paruku's cultural and environmental values inspire Indigenous and other artists, they define the place as an enduring home, and have led to its declaration as an Indigenous Protected Area. The Walmajarri people of Paruku understand themselves in relation to Country, a coherent whole linking the environment, the people and the Law that governs their lives. These understandings are encompassed by the Waljirri or Dreaming and expressed through the songs, imagery and narratives of enduring traditions. Desert Lake is embedded in this broader vision of Country and provides a rich visual and cross-cultural portrait of an extraordinary part of Australia.

The Strategy of Conflict

The Strategy of Conflict
Author: Thomas C. Schelling
Release: 1981-05-15
Editor: Harvard University Press
Pages: 328
ISBN: 9780674251861
Language: en
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A series of closely interrelated essays on game theory, this book deals with an area in which progress has been least satisfactory—the situations where there is a common interest as well as conflict between adversaries: negotiations, war and threats of war, criminal deterrence, extortion, tacit bargaining. It proposes enlightening similarities between, for instance, maneuvering in limited war and in a traffic jam; deterring the Russians and one’s own children; the modern strategy of terror and the ancient institution of hostages.

The State We re In

The State We re In
Author: Will Hutton
Release: 2011-06-30
Editor: Random House
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9781446483442
Language: en
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The number one bestseller on the hardback list for more than six months, The State We're In is the most explosive analysis of British society to have been published for over thirty years. It is now updated for the paperback edition.