Seeing like a state

How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed

Author: James C. Scott

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300128789

Category: Political Science

Page: 463

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Why do well-intentioned plans for improving the human condition go tragically awry? In a wide-ranging and original study, James C. Scott analyzes failed cases of large-scale authoritarian plans in a variety of fields. He argues that centrally managed social plans derail when schematic visions are imposed on long-established structures without taking into account preexisting interdependencies.

Seeing Like a State

How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed

Author: James C. Scott

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300078152

Category: Political Science

Page: 445

View: 7397

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An analysis of diverse failures in high-modernist, authoritarian state planning. It covers projects such as collectivization in Russia and the building of Brasilia, arguing that any centrally-managed social plan must recognize the importance of local customs and practical knowledge.

Politics of Urbanism

Seeing Like a City

Author: Warren Magnusson

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136671722

Category: Political Science

Page: 200

View: 9095

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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.

Against the Grain

A Deep History of the Earliest States

Author: James C. Scott

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300231687

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 9729

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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.

Two Cheers for Anarchism

Six Easy Pieces on Autonomy, Dignity, and Meaningful Work and Play

Author: James C. Scott

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691155291

Category: Philosophy

Page: 169

View: 4879

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"James Scott is one of the great political thinkers of our time. No one else has the same ability to pursue a simple, surprising idea, kindly but relentlessly, until the entire world looks different. In this book, he also demonstrates a skill shared by the greatest radical thinkers: to reveal positions we've been taught to think of as extremism to be emanations of simple human decency and common sense."--David Graeber, author of Debt: The First 5,000 Years "Building on the insights of his masterful Seeing Like a State, James Scott has written a powerful and important argument for social organization that resists the twin poles of Big Corporations and Big Governments. In an age increasingly shaped by decentralized, bottom-up networks, Two Cheers for Anarchism gives timely new life to a rich tradition of political thought."--Steven Johnson, author of Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation and Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age "I am a big fan of James Scott. In this highly readable and thought-provoking book, he reveals the meaning of his 'anarchist' sensibility through a series of wonderful personal stories, staking out an important position and defending it in a variety of contexts, from urban planning to school evaluation. I don't know of anyone else who has defined this viewpoint so successfully."--Francis Fukuyama, author of The Origins of Political Order "The ambition of this book is compelling and contagious. Combining the populist rhetoric of Thomas Paine with the ferocious satire of Jonathan Swift, James Scott makes a wonderfully simple and potent argument in favor of mutualism, creativity, local knowledge, and freedom. I predict that this will become one of the most influential books in political theory and public debate for the twenty-first century."--Georgi Derluguian, author of Bourdieu's Secret Admirer in the Caucasus

The Art of Not Being Governed

An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia

Author: James C. Scott

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300156529

Category: Political Science

Page: 465

View: 9693

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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

Hidden Transcripts

Author: James C. Scott

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300153562

Category: Dominance (Psychology)

Page: 251

View: 4832

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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.

Seeing Like a Rover

How Robots, Teams, and Images Craft Knowledge of Mars

Author: Janet Vertesi

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022615601X

Category: Science

Page: 304

View: 7824

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In the years since the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit and Opportunity first began transmitting images from the surface of Mars, we have become familiar with the harsh, rocky, rusty-red Martian landscape. But those images are much less straightforward than they may seem to a layperson: each one is the result of a complicated set of decisions and processes involving the large team behind the Rovers. With Seeing Like a Rover, Janet Vertesi takes us behind the scenes to reveal the work that goes into creating our knowledge of Mars. Every photograph that the Rovers take, she shows, must be processed, manipulated, and interpreted—and all that comes after team members negotiate with each other about what they should even be taking photographs of in the first place. Vertesi’s account of the inspiringly successful Rover project reveals science in action, a world where digital processing uncovers scientific truths, where images are used to craft consensus, and where team members develop an uncanny intimacy with the sensory apparatus of a robot that is millions of miles away. Ultimately, Vertesi shows, every image taken by the Mars Rovers is not merely a picture of Mars—it’s a portrait of the whole Rover team, as well.

Postdigital Aesthetics

Art, Computation And Design

Author: D. Berry,M. Dieter

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137437200

Category: Art

Page: 320

View: 6412

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Postdigital Aesthetics is a contribution to questions raised by our newly computational everyday lives and the aesthetics which reflect both the postdigital nature of this age, but also critical perspectives of a post-internet world.

Public Administration and the State

A Postmodern Perspective

Author: Michael W. Spicer

Publisher: University of Alabama Press

ISBN: 0817352392

Category: Political Science

Page: 157

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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.

State in Society

Studying How States and Societies Transform and Constitute One Another

Author: Joel S. Migdal

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521797061

Category: Political Science

Page: 291

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The essays in this book trace the development of Joel Migdal's "state-in-society" approach. The essays situate the approach within the classic literature in political science, sociology, and related disciplines but present a new model for understanding state-society relations. It allies parts of the state and groups in society against other such coalitions, determines how societies and states create and maintain distinct ways of structuring day-to-day life, the nature of the rules that govern people's behavior, whom they benefit and whom they disadvantage, which sorts of elements unite people and which divide them, and what shared meaning people hold about their relations with others and their place in the world.

Seeing the State

Governance and Governmentality in India

Author: Stuart Corbridge,Glyn Williams,Manoj Srivastava,René Véron

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781139445757

Category: Political Science

Page: N.A

View: 373

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Poor people confront the state on an everyday basis all over the world. But how do they see the state, and how are these engagements conducted? This book considers the Indian case where people's accounts, in particular in the countryside, are shaped by a series of encounters that are staged at the local level, and which are also informed by ideas that are circulated by the government and the broader development community. Drawing extensively on fieldwork conducted in eastern India and their broad range of expertise, the authors review a series of key debates in development studies on participation, good governance, and the structuring of political society. They do so with particular reference to the Employment Assurance Scheme and primary education provision. Seeing the State engages with the work of James Scott, James Ferguson and Partha Chatterjee, and offers a new interpretation of the formation of citizenship in South Asia.

Strong Societies and Weak States

State-society Relations and State Capabilities in the Third World

Author: Joel S. Migdal

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691010731

Category: Political Science

Page: 296

View: 6338

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Why do many Asian, African, and Latin American states have such difficulty in directing the behavior of their populations--in spite of the resources at their disposal? And why do a small number of other states succeed in such control? What effect do failing laws and social policies have on the state itself? In answering these questions, Joel Migdal takes a new look at the role of the state in the third world. Strong Societies and Weak States offers a fresh approach to the study of state-society relations and to the possibilities for economic and political reforms in the third world. In Asia, Africa, and Latin America, state institutions have established a permanent presence among the populations of even the most remote villages. A close look at the performance of these agencies, however, reveals that often they operate on principles radically different from those conceived by their founders and creators in the capital city. Migdal proposes an answer to this paradox: a model of state-society relations that highlights the state's struggle with other social organizations and a theory that explains the differing abilities of states to predominate in those struggles.

Embedded Autonomy

States and Industrial Transformation

Author: Peter B. Evans

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400821723

Category: Political Science

Page: 344

View: 2370

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In recent years, debate on the state's economic role has too often devolved into diatribes against intervention. Peter Evans questions such simplistic views, offering a new vision of why state involvement works in some cases and produces disasters in others. To illustrate, he looks at how state agencies, local entrepreneurs, and transnational corporations shaped the emergence of computer industries in Brazil, India, and Korea during the seventies and eighties. Evans starts with the idea that states vary in the way they are organized and tied to society. In some nations, like Zaire, the state is predatory, ruthlessly extracting and providing nothing of value in return. In others, like Korea, it is developmental, promoting industrial transformation. In still others, like Brazil and India, it is in between, sometimes helping, sometimes hindering. Evans's years of comparative research on the successes and failures of state involvement in the process of industrialization have here been crafted into a persuasive and entertaining work, which demonstrates that successful state action requires an understanding of its own limits, a realistic relationship to the global economy, and the combination of coherent internal organization and close links to society that Evans called "embedded autonomy."

False Dawn

The Delusions of Global Capitalism (Large Print 16pt)

Author: John Gray

Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com

ISBN: 1459603214

Category:

Page: 464

View: 8191

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powerful and prophetic challenge to globalization from a former partisan of the New Right. Hailed by Kirkus Reviews as both ''a convincing analysis of an international economy '' and a ''powerful challenge to economic orthodoxy, '' False Dawn shows that the attempt to impose the Anglo-American-style free market on the world will create a disaster, possibly on the scale of Soviet communism. Even America, the supposed flagship of the new civilization, risks moral and social disintegration as it loses ground to other cultures that have never forgotten that the market works best when it is embedded in society. John Gray, well known in the 1980s as an important conservative political thinker, whose writings were relied upon by Margaret Thatcher and the New Right in Britain, has concluded that the conservative agenda is no longer viable. In his examination of the ripple effects of the economic turmoil in Russia and Asia on our collective future, Gray provides one of the most passionate polemics against the utopia of the free market since Carlyle and Marx.

Markets and States in Tropical Africa

The Political Basis of Agricultural Policies

Author: Robert H. Bates

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520042537

Category: Africa, Sub-Saharan

Page: 178

View: 7537

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Most Africans live in rural areas and derive their incomes from farming; but because African governments follow policies that are adverse to most farmers' interests, these countries fail to produce enough food to feed their populations. "Markets and States in Tropical Africa "analyzes these and other paradoxical features of development in modern Africa and explores how governments have intervened and diverted resources from farmers to other sectors of society. A classic of the field since its publication in 1981, this edition includes a new preface by the author.

Origins of the State

The Anthropology of Political Evolution

Author: Ronald Lee Cohen,Elman Rogers Service

Publisher: Philadelphia : Institute for the Study of Human Issues

ISBN: N.A

Category: Anthropologie politique

Page: 233

View: 7859

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Seeking Asylum

Human Smuggling and Bureaucracy at the Border

Author: Alison Mountz

Publisher: U of Minnesota Press

ISBN: 1452915229

Category: Political Science

Page: 209

View: 4077

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In July 1999, Canadian authorities intercepted four boats off the coast of British Columbia carrying nearly six hundred Chinese citizens who were being smuggled into Canada. Government officials held the migrants on a Canadian naval base, which it designated a port of entry. As one official later recounted to the author, the Chinese migrants entered a legal limbo, treated as though they were walking through a long tunnel of bureaucracy to reach Canadian soil. The “long tunnel thesis” is the basis of Alison Mountz’s wide-ranging investigation into the power of states to change the relationship between geography and law as they negotiate border crossings. Mountz draws from many sources to argue that refugee-receiving states capitalize on crises generated by high-profile human smuggling events to implement restrictive measures designed to regulate migration. Whether states view themselves as powerful actors who can successfully exclude outsiders or as vulnerable actors in need of stronger policies to repel potential threats, they end up subverting access to human rights, altering laws, and extending power beyond their own borders. Using examples from Canada, Australia, and the United States, Mountz demonstrates the centrality of space and place in efforts to control the fate of unwanted migrants.

Wild Sardinia

Indigeneity and the Global Dreamtimes of Environmentalism

Author: Tracey Heatherington

Publisher: University of Washington Press

ISBN: 0295800364

Category: Social Science

Page: 328

View: 7251

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Shared concern for nature can be a way of transcending national, ethnic, religious, and cultural boundaries, yet conservation efforts often pit the interests of historically rooted or indigenous peoples against the state and international environmental organizations, eroding local autonomy while �saving� rural land for animals and tourists. Wild Sardinia�s examination of the cultural politics around nature conservation and the traditional Commons on an Italian island illustrates the complexities of environmental stewardship. Long known as the home of fiercely independent shepherds (often typecast as rustics, bandits, or eco-vandals), as well as wild mouflon sheep, magnificent eagles, and rare old oak forests, the town of Orgosolo has for several decades received notoriety through local opposition to Gennargentu National Park. Interweaving rich ethnographic description of highland central Sardinia with analysis grounded in political ecology and reflexive cultural critique, Wild Sardinia illuminates the ambivalent and open-ended meanings of many Sardinians� acts and memories of �resistance� to environmental projects. This groundbreaking case study of the tension between living cultural landscapes and the emerging ecological imaginaries envisioned through policy discourses and new media -- the �global dreamtimes of environmentalism� -- has relevance far beyond its Mediterranean locale.