January 19, 2021

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Seeing Like a State

Seeing Like a State
Author : James C. Scott
Publisher : Yale University Press
Release Date : 2020-03-17
Category : Political Science
Total pages :480
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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
Publisher : Yale University Press
Release Date : 2020-03-17
Category : Political Science
Total pages :464
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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
Publisher : Yale University Press
Release Date : 1999-02
Category : Political Science
Total pages :464
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Scott analyzes failed cases of large-scale authoritarian plans in a variety of fields.

Politics of Urbanism

Politics of Urbanism
Author : Warren Magnusson
Publisher : Routledge
Release Date : 2013-07-03
Category : Political Science
Total pages :192
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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.

Two Cheers for Anarchism

Two Cheers for Anarchism
Author : James C. Scott
Publisher : Princeton University Press
Release Date : 2014-03-10
Category : Political Science
Total pages :200
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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.

False Dawn

False Dawn
Author : John Gray
Publisher : Granta Books
Release Date : 2015-07-02
Category : Business & Economics
Total pages :129
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In the midst of the current financial crisis, John Gray revisits his brilliant polemic against the forces of global capitalism and deregulation. Written over ten years ago, False Dawn is a remarkably prescient book, sharply criticizing the greed and unsustainable economic practices which have proved to be the seeds of a worldwide recession. In a substantial new chapter, Gray considers how the economic landscape has shifted in a decade, and asks the crucial question: where do we go from here?

Seeing Like a City

Seeing Like a City
Author : Ash Amin,Nigel Thrift
Publisher : John Wiley & Sons
Release Date : 2017-01-09
Category : Social Science
Total pages :216
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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.

Seeing Like a Citizen

Seeing Like a Citizen
Author : Kara Moskowitz
Publisher : Ohio University Press
Release Date : 2019-11-12
Category : History
Total pages :336
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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.

Seeing Like a Feminist

Seeing Like a Feminist
Author : Nivedita Menon
Publisher : Penguin UK
Release Date : 2012-12-01
Category : Literary Collections
Total pages :120
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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.

The Art of Not Being Governed

The Art of Not Being Governed
Author : James C. Scott
Publisher : Yale University Press
Release Date : 2014-05-14
Category : Political Science
Total pages :465
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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
Publisher : Yale University Press
Release Date : 1990
Category : Dominance (Psychology)
Total pages :251
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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.

Decoding Subaltern Politics

Decoding Subaltern Politics
Author : James C. Scott
Publisher : Routledge
Release Date : 2013
Category : History
Total pages :158
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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.

Seeing Like a Rover

Seeing Like a Rover
Author : Janet Vertesi
Publisher : University of Chicago Press
Release Date : 2015-04-22
Category : Science
Total pages :318
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Seeing Like a Rover brings the Mars Exploration Rover mission to vivid life through the author's years of immersion with the team during routine operations on Mars. In the book, Janet Vertesi explores the social and technical achievements of making knowledge about Mars based on iterative digital representations of its surface. We see how scientists on the Rover mission both perform the digital transformations that bring new features in their images to light, enabling discovery, as well as how they collectively interpret images to determine where the Rovers are located on Mars and what they should do next. Using her close study of digital imaging, which exhibits a sensitivity to the social context of scientific work, Vertesi discusses how representation on the mission is never about finding a single way of truthfully representing Mars. Representation is instead, she argues, a question of using image processing techniques strategically to reveal and conceal different features of the planet's surface, and of bringing these multiple representations together to make both knowledge and collective decisions about exploration on the Red Planet. Seeing Like a Rover speaks to many themes that are familiar to historians, sociologists, and philosophers of science. Issues such as trust among knowledge-making teams, the different epistemic status and practices of the lab and the field, and the heritage of visual languages in an emerging discipline are just as relevant in other periods and places. Moreover, by revealing how representational practices craft social visions, Vertesi develops a framework that can be applied to scientific imaging across a variety of time periods and scientific contexts.

Seeing Like a Child

Seeing Like a Child
Author : Clara Han
Publisher : Fordham University Press
Release Date : 2020-12-01
Category : Social Science
Total pages :208
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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.

Public Administration and the State

Public Administration and the State
Author : Michael W. Spicer
Publisher : University of Alabama Press
Release Date : 2005-07-03
Category : Political Science
Total pages :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.