The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia

The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia

by James C. Scott
     
 

ISBN-10: 0300152280

ISBN-13: 9780300152289

Pub. Date: 09/30/2009

Publisher: Yale University Press

"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

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Overview

"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." "The Art of Not Being Governed challenges us with a radically different approach to history that views events 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, or 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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300152289
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
09/30/2009
Series:
Yale Agrarian Studies Series
Pages:
464
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.50(d)

Table of Contents

1 Hills, Valleys, and States: An Introduction to Zomia 1

2 State Space: Zones of Governance and Appropriation 40

3 Concentrating Manpower and Grain: Slavery and Irrigated Rice 64

4 Civilization and the Unruly 98

5 Keeping the State at a Distance: The Peopling of the Hills 127

6 State Evasion, State Prevention: The Culture and Agriculture of Escape 178

6.5 Orality, Writing, and Texts 220

7 Ethnogenesis: A Radical Constructionist Case 238

8 Prophets of Renewal 283

9 Conclusion 324

Notes 339

Glossary 407

Index 415

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