Seeing Like a State

Seeing Like a State
Author: James C. Scott
Publsiher: Yale University Press
Total Pages: 480
Release: 2020-03-17
Genre: Political Science
ISBN: 9780300252989

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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
Publsiher: Yale University Press
Total Pages: 464
Release: 2020-03-17
Genre: Political Science
ISBN: 9780300246759

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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

Two Cheers for Anarchism

Two Cheers for Anarchism
Author: James C. Scott
Publsiher: Princeton University Press
Total Pages: 200
Release: 2014-03-10
Genre: Political Science
ISBN: 9780691161037

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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
Publsiher: Routledge
Total Pages: 200
Release: 2013-07-03
Genre: Political Science
ISBN: 9781136671715

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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.

False Dawn

False Dawn
Author: John Gray
Publsiher: Unknown
Total Pages: 234
Release: 1998
Genre: Capitalism
ISBN: STANFORD:36105022851765

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This is an analysis of an important issue facing the world in the 1990s, whose outcome will determine the kind of world in which children will grow up in.

The Art of Not Being Governed

The Art of Not Being Governed
Author: James C. Scott
Publsiher: Yale University Press
Total Pages: 442
Release: 2009-01-01
Genre: Social Science
ISBN: 9780300156522

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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.

Agrarian Studies

Agrarian Studies
Author: James C. Scott,Nina Bhatt
Publsiher: Yale University Press
Total Pages: 310
Release: 2001-01-01
Genre: Social Science
ISBN: 9780300085020

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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.

Domination and the Arts of Resistance

Domination and the Arts of Resistance
Author: James C. Scott
Publsiher: Yale University Press
Total Pages: 269
Release: 2008-10-01
Genre: Political Science
ISBN: 9780300153569

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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 City

Seeing Like a City
Author: Ash Amin,Nigel Thrift
Publsiher: John Wiley & Sons
Total Pages: 216
Release: 2017-01-09
Genre: Social Science
ISBN: 9781509515622

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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.

Trust in Numbers

Trust in Numbers
Author: Theodore M. Porter
Publsiher: Princeton University Press
Total Pages: 344
Release: 2020-08-18
Genre: Science
ISBN: 9780691210544

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A foundational work on historical and social studies of quantification What accounts for the prestige of quantitative methods? The usual answer is that quantification is desirable in social investigation as a result of its successes in science. Trust in Numbers questions whether such success in the study of stars, molecules, or cells should be an attractive model for research on human societies, and examines why the natural sciences are highly quantitative in the first place. Theodore Porter argues that a better understanding of the attractions of quantification in business, government, and social research brings a fresh perspective to its role in psychology, physics, and medicine. Quantitative rigor is not inherent in science but arises from political and social pressures, and objectivity derives its impetus from cultural contexts. In a new preface, the author sheds light on the current infatuation with quantitative methods, particularly at the intersection of science and bureaucracy.

Decoding Subaltern Politics

Decoding Subaltern Politics
Author: James C. Scott
Publsiher: Routledge
Total Pages: 158
Release: 2013
Genre: History
ISBN: 9780415539753

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James C. Scott has researched and written on subaltern groups, and, in particular, peasants, rebellion, resistance, and agriculture, for over 35 years. Yet much of Scott’s most interesting work on the peasantry and the state, both conceptually and empirically, has never been published in book form. For the first time Decoding Subaltern Politics: Ideology, Disguise, and Resistance in Agrarian Politics, brings together some of his most important work in one volume. The book covers three distinct yet interlinked bodies of work. The first lays out a framework for understanding peasant politics and rebellion, much of which is applicable to rural areas of the contemporary global south. Scott then goes on to develop his arguments regarding everyday forms of peasant resistance using the comparative example of the religious tithe in France and Malaysia, and tracing the forms of resistance that cover their own tracks and avoid direct clashes with authorities. For much of the world’s population, and for most of its history, this sort of politics was far more common than the violent clashes that dominate the history books, and in this book one can examine the anatomy of such resistance in rich comparative detail. Finally, Scott explores how the state’s increasing grip on its population: its identity, land-holding, income, and movements, is a precondition for political hegemony. Crucially, in examining the invention of state-mandated legal identities, especially, the permanent patronym and the vagaries of its imposition on vernacular life, Scott lays bare the micro-processes of state-formation and resistance. Written by one of the leading social theorists of our age, Decoding Subaltern Politics: Ideology, Disguise, and Resistance in Agrarian Politicsis an indispensible guide to the study of subaltern culture and politics and is essential reading for political scientists, anthropologists, sociologists and historians alike.

Land of Strangers

Land of Strangers
Author: Ash Amin
Publsiher: John Wiley & Sons
Total Pages: 200
Release: 2013-04-24
Genre: Social Science
ISBN: 9780745660622

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The impersonality of social relationships in the society of strangers is making majorities increasingly nostalgic for a time of closer personal ties and strong community moorings. The constitutive pluralism and hybridity of modern living in the West is being rejected in an age of heightened anxiety over the future and drummed up aversion towards the stranger. Minorities, migrants and dissidents are expected to stay away, or to conform and integrate, as they come to be framed in an optic of the social as interpersonal or communitarian. Judging these developments as dangerous, this book offers a counter-argument by looking to relations that are not reducible to local or social ties in order to offer new suggestions for living in diversity and for forging a different politics of the stranger. The book explains the balance between positive and negative public feelings as the synthesis of habits of interaction in varied spaces of collective being, from the workplace and urban space, to intimate publics and tropes of imagined community. The book proposes a series of interventions that make for public being as both unconscious habit and cultivated craft of negotiating difference, radiating civilities of situated attachment and indifference towards the strangeness of others. It is in the labour of cultivating the commons in a variety of ways that Amin finds the elements for a new politics of diversity appropriate for our times, one that takes the stranger as there, unavoidable, an equal claimant on ground that is not pre-allocated.

The Elephant in the Brain

The Elephant in the Brain
Author: Kevin Simler,Robin Hanson
Publsiher: Oxford University Press
Total Pages: 397
Release: 2018
Genre: Cognitive psychology
ISBN: 9780190495992

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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.

Xunzi And Early Chinese Naturalism

Xunzi And Early Chinese Naturalism
Author: Janghee Lee
Publsiher: SUNY Press
Total Pages: 135
Release: 2005-01-01
Genre: Religion
ISBN: 0791461971

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Explores Xunzi's thought in relation to the early Chinese philosophical context that relied on the natural world.

Markets and States in Tropical Africa

Markets and States in Tropical Africa
Author: Robert H. Bates
Publsiher: Univ of California Press
Total Pages: 216
Release: 2014-04-12
Genre: Political Science
ISBN: 9780520282568

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Following independence, most countries in Africa sought to develop, but their governments pursued policies that actually undermined their rural economies. Examining the origins of Africa’s “growth tragedy,” Markets and States in Tropical Africa has for decades shaped the thinking of practitioners and scholars alike. Robert H. Bates’s analysis now faces a challenge, however: the revival of economic growth on the continent. In this edition, Bates provides a new preface and chapter that address the seeds of Africa’s recovery and discuss the significance of the continent’s success for the arguments of this classic work.