THE ART OF NOT BEING GOVERNED

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The Art Of Not Being Governed

Author : James C. Scott
ISBN : 9780300156522
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 35.85 MB
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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.
Category: Political Science

The Art Of Not Being Governed

Author : James C Scott
ISBN : 9789971694975
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 56.22 MB
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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. Significantly, writes James C. Scott in this iconoclastic study, these people are not innocents who have yet to benefit from all that civilization has to offer; they have assessed state-based "civilizations" and have made a conscious choice to avoid them. The book is essentially an "anarchist history," the first-ever examination of the huge literature on state-making that 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; cropping 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. The Art of Not Being Governed challenges us with a radically different approach to history that views from the perspective of stateless peoples and redefines state-making as a form of "internal colonialism." In contrast to the Western ideal of the "social contract" as fundamental to state-making, Scott finds the disturbing mechanism of subjugation to be more in line with the historical facts in mainland Southeast Asia. The author's work on Zomia represents a new way to think of area studies that will be applicable to other runaway and fugitive communities, be they Gypsies, Cossacks, tribes fleeing slave-raiders, Marsh Arabs, and San-Bushmen. In accessible language, 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. Along the way he redefines our views on Asian politics, history, and demographics, and even our fundamental ideas about what constitutes civilization.
Category: Social Science

The Art Of Being Governed

Author : Michael Szonyi
ISBN : 9781400888887
Genre : History
File Size : 89.29 MB
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An innovative look at how families in Ming dynasty China negotiated military and political obligations to the state How did ordinary people in the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) deal with the demands of the state? In The Art of Being Governed, Michael Szonyi explores the myriad ways that families fulfilled their obligations to provide a soldier to the army. The complex strategies they developed to manage their responsibilities suggest a new interpretation of an important period in China’s history as well as a broader theory of politics. Using previously untapped sources, including lineage genealogies and internal family documents, Szonyi examines how soldiers and their families living on China’s southeast coast minimized the costs and maximized the benefits of meeting government demands for manpower. Families that had to provide a soldier for the army set up elaborate rules to ensure their obligation was fulfilled, and to provide incentives for the soldier not to desert his post. People in the system found ways to gain advantages for themselves and their families. For example, naval officers used the military’s protection to engage in the very piracy and smuggling they were supposed to suppress. Szonyi demonstrates through firsthand accounts how subjects of the Ming state operated in a space between defiance and compliance, and how paying attention to this middle ground can help us better understand not only Ming China but also other periods and places. Combining traditional scholarship with innovative fieldwork in the villages where descendants of Ming subjects still live, The Art of Being Governed illustrates the ways that arrangements between communities and the state hundreds of years ago have consequences and relevance for how we look at diverse cultures and societies, even today.
Category: History

Two Cheers For Anarchism

Author : James C. Scott
ISBN : 9781400844623
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 21.12 MB
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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.
Category: Political Science

Seeing Like A State

Author : James C. Scott
ISBN : 9780300128789
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 87.1 MB
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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.
Category: Political Science

Against The Grain

Author : James C. Scott
ISBN : 9780300231687
Genre : History
File Size : 49.11 MB
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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.
Category: History

Studying The Agency Of Being Governed

Author : Stina Hansson
ISBN : 9781317624493
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 61.84 MB
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This edited volume seeks to provide guidance on how we can approach questions of governing and agency—particularly those who endeavour to embark on grounded empirical research— by rendering explicit some key challenges, tensions, dilemmas, and confluences that such endeavours elicit. Indeed, the contributions in this volume reflect the growing tendency in governmentality studies to shift focus to empirically grounded studies. The volume thus explicitly aims to move from theory to practice, and to step back from the more top-down governmentality studies approach to one that examines how one can/does study how relations of power affect lives, experience and agency. This book offers insight into the intricate relations between the workings of governing and (the possibility for) people’s agency on the one hand, and about the possible effects of our attempts to engage in such studies on the other. In numerous ways, and from different starting points, the contributions to this volume provide thoughtful insights into, and creative suggestions for, how to work with the methodological challenges of studying the agency of being governed. This work will be of great interest to students and scholars of international relations, global governance and research methods.
Category: Political Science

Agrarian Studies

Author : James C. Scott
ISBN : 9780300085020
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 26.48 MB
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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 Programme 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.
Category: Social Science

Weapons Of The Weak

Author : James C. Scott
ISBN : 0300153627
Genre : SOCIAL SCIENCE
File Size : 42.14 MB
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Category: SOCIAL SCIENCE