Seeing Like a State

Seeing Like a State
Author: James C. Scott
Pages: 480
ISBN: 9780300252989
Available:
Release: 2020-03-17
Editor: Yale University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

“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
Pages: 464
ISBN: 9780300246759
Available:
Release: 2020-03-17
Editor: Yale University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

"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
Pages: 200
ISBN: 9780691161037
Available:
Release: 2014-03-10
Editor: Princeton University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781136671715
Available:
Release: 2013-07-03
Editor: Routledge
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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
Pages: 216
ISBN: 9781509515622
Available:
Release: 2017-01-09
Editor: John Wiley & Sons
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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
Pages: 310
ISBN: 9780300085020
Available:
Release: 2001-01-01
Editor: Yale University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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.

False Dawn

False Dawn
Author: John Gray
Pages: 464
ISBN: 9781459603219
Available:
Release: 2010-09-01
Editor: ReadHowYouWant.com
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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.

Red Revolution Green Revolution

Red Revolution  Green Revolution
Author: Sigrid Schmalzer
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780226330297
Available:
Release: 2016-01-20
Editor: University of Chicago Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In 1968, the director of USAID coined the term “green revolution” to celebrate the new technological solutions that promised to ease hunger around the world—and forestall the spread of more “red,” or socialist, revolutions. Yet in China, where modernization and scientific progress could not be divorced from politics, green and red revolutions proceeded side by side. In Red Revolution, Green Revolution, Sigrid Schmalzer explores the intersection of politics and agriculture in socialist China through the diverse experiences of scientists, peasants, state agents, and “educated youth.” The environmental costs of chemical-intensive agriculture and the human costs of emphasizing increasing production over equitable distribution of food and labor have been felt as strongly in China as anywhere—and yet, as Schmalzer shows, Mao-era challenges to technocracy laid important groundwork for today’s sustainability and food justice movements. This history of “scientific farming” in China offers us a unique opportunity not only to explore the consequences of modern agricultural technologies but also to engage in a necessary rethinking of fundamental assumptions about science and society.

Seeing Like an International Organization

Seeing Like an International Organization
Author: André Broome,Leonard Seabrooke
Pages: 144
ISBN: 9781317661269
Available:
Release: 2017-12-22
Editor: Routledge
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

This book contributes to the study of International Organizations (IOs) by providing a sharp focus on how IOs’ "analytic institutions" interact with states over key policy issues. Analytic institutions include the areas, departments, committees, adjudicatory bodies, and others housed by or linked to IOs that develop the cognitive framework for identifying, understanding, and solving policy problems. Analytic institutions make the state "legible" to IOs and are the key means for how IOs "see" their member states, shaping how international political and economic problems are understood. This book investigates why seeing like an IO matters through cases on leading organizations for global economic governance, including the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Bank for International Settlements, the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, and the World Trade Organization. The contributors demonstrate the benefits of studying IOs "from the inside-out" to enrich our understanding of why issues in the international political economy are governed the way they are. This book was published as a special issue of New Political Economy.

Seeing Like a Rover

Seeing Like a Rover
Author: Janet Vertesi
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780226156019
Available:
Release: 2015-04-22
Editor: University of Chicago Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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.

The Art of Not Being Governed

The Art of Not Being Governed
Author: James C. Scott
Pages: 442
ISBN: 9780300156522
Available:
Release: 2009-01-01
Editor: Yale University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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.

Seeing Like a Feminist

Seeing Like a Feminist
Author: Nivedita Menon
Pages: 120
ISBN: 9788184757705
Available:
Release: 2012-12-01
Editor: Penguin UK
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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.

Against the Grain

Against the Grain
Author: James C. Scott
Pages: 312
ISBN: 0302240217
Available:
Release: 2017
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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.

Domination and the Arts of Resistance

Domination and the Arts of Resistance
Author: James C. Scott
Pages: 269
ISBN: 9780300153569
Available:
Release: 2008-10-01
Editor: Yale University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

"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 Citizen

Seeing Like a Citizen
Author: Kara Moskowitz
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780821446898
Available:
Release: 2019-11-12
Editor: Ohio University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In Seeing Like a Citizen, Kara Moskowitz approaches Kenya’s late colonial and early postcolonial eras as a single period of political, economic, and social transition. In focusing on rural Kenyans—the vast majority of the populace and the main targets of development interventions—as they actively sought access to aid, she offers new insights into the texture of political life in decolonizing Kenya and the early postcolonial world. Using multi-sited archival sources and oral histories focused on the western Rift Valley, Seeing Like a Citizen makes three fundamental contributions to our understanding of African and Kenyan history. First, it challenges the widely accepted idea of the gatekeeper state, revealing that state control remained limited and that the postcolonial state was an internally varied and often dissonant institution. Second, it transforms our understanding of postcolonial citizenship, showing that its balance of rights and duties was neither claimed nor imposed, but negotiated and differentiated. Third, it reorients Kenyan historiography away from central Kenya and elite postcolonial politics. The result is a powerful investigation of experiences of independence, of the meaning and form of development, and of how global political practices were composed and recomposed on the ground in local settings.

The Pricing of Progress

The Pricing of Progress
Author: Eli Cook
Pages: 326
ISBN: 9780674982543
Available:
Release: 2017-09-25
Editor: Harvard University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

How did Americans come to quantify their society’s well-being in units of money? In our GDP-run world, prices are the measure of not only goods and commodities but our environment, communities, nation, even self-worth. Eli Cook shows how, and why, we moderns lost sight of earlier social and moral metrics that did not put a price on everyday life.

The Encrypted State

The Encrypted State
Author: David Nugent
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781503609723
Available:
Release: 2019-08-13
Editor: Stanford University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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.

Rule of Experts

Rule of Experts
Author: Professor and Chair of the Department of Middle Eastern South Asian and African Studies Timothy Mitchell,Timothy Mitchell
Pages: 413
ISBN: 0520232623
Available:
Release: 2002-11-18
Editor: Univ of California Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Publisher Description

Seeing Like a Child

Seeing Like a Child
Author: Clara Han
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9780823289479
Available:
Release: 2020-12-01
Editor: Fordham University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

An utterly original and illuminating work that meets at the crossroads of autobiography and ethnography to re-examine violence and memory through the eyes of a child. Seeing Like a Child is a deeply moving narrative that showcases an unexpected voice from an established researcher. Through an unwavering commitment to a child’s perspective, Clara Han explores how the catastrophic event of the Korean War is dispersed into domestic life. Han writes from inside her childhood memories as the daughter of parents who were displaced by war, who fled from the North to the South of Korea, and whose displacement in Korea and subsequent migration to the United States implicated the fraying and suppression of kinship relations and the Korean language. At the same time, Han writes as an anthropologist whose fieldwork has taken her to the devastated worlds of her parents—to Korea and to the Korean language—allowing her, as she explains, to find and found kinship relationships that had been suppressed or broken in war and illness. A fascinating counterpoint to the project of testimony that seeks to transmit a narrative of the event to future generations, Seeing Like a Child sees the inheritance of familial memories of violence as embedded in how the child inhabits her everyday life. Seeing Like a Child offers readers a unique experience—an intimate engagement with the emotional reality of migration and the inheritance of mass displacement and death—inviting us to explore categories such as “catastrophe,” “war,” “violence,” and “kinship” in a brand-new light.

The Righteous Mind

The Righteous Mind
Author: Jonathan Haidt
Pages: 500
ISBN: 9780307455772
Available:
Release: 2013
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Presents a groundbreaking investigation into the origins of morality at the core of religion and politics, offering scholarly insight into the motivations behind cultural clashes that are polarizing America.