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Seeing Like a State How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed

by James C. Scott

  • ISBN: 9780300070163
  • ISBN10: 0300070160

Seeing Like a State How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed

by James C. Scott

  • List Price: $60.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Yale Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 04/01/1998
  • ISBN: 9780300070163
  • ISBN10: 0300070160
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Description: Compulsory ujamaa villages in Tanzania, collectivization in Russia, Le Corbusier's urban planning theory realized in Brasilia, the Great Leap Forward in China, agricultural "modernization" in the Tropics -- the twentieth century has been racked by grand utopian schemes that have inadvertently brought death and disruption to millions. Why do well-intentioned plans for improving the human condition go tragically awry?

In this wide-ranging and original book, James C. Scott analyzes failed cases of large-scale authoritarian plans in a variety of fields. Centrally managed social plans misfire, Scott argues, when they impose schematic visions that do violence to complex interdependencies that are not -- and cannot -- be fully understood. Further, the success of designs for social organization depends upon the recognition that local, practical knowledge is as important as formal, epistemic knowledge. The author builds a persuasive case against "development theory" and imperialistic state planning that disregards the values, desires, and objections of its subjects. He identifies and discusses four conditions common to all planning disasters: administrative ordering of nature and society by the state; a "high-modernist ideology" that places confidence in the ability of science to improve every aspect of human life; a willingness to use authoritarian state power to effect large-scale interventions; and a prostrate civil society that cannot effectively resist such plans.

"A broad-ranging, theoretically important, and empirically grounded treatment of the modern state and its propensity to simplify and make legible a society which by nature is complex and opaque. For anyone interested inlearning about this fundamental tension of modernity and about the destruction wrought in the twentieth century as a consequence of the dominant development ideology of the simplifying state, this is a must-read". -- Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, author of Hitler's Willing Executioners

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Product notice Returnable at the third party seller's discretion and may come without consumable supplements like access codes, CD's, or workbooks.
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Seller: Goodwill Books
Location: Hillsboro, OR
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Fairly worn, but readable and intact. If applicable: Dust jacket, disc or access code may not be included.
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Fairly worn, but readable and intact. If applicable: Dust jacket, disc or access code may not be included.
Seller: Ergodebooks
Location: Houston,, TX Ask seller a question
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Seller: BookHouse On-Line
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Condition: Very Good
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Size: 9x6x1; Yale University Press, 1998; First Printing with full number
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Price:
$84.37
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Size: 9x6x1; Yale University Press, 1998; First Printing with full number
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Seller: Bonita
Location: Newport Coast, CA
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Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items. May be an ex-library book.
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Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items. May be an ex-library book.
Seller: Bank of Books
Location: Ventura, CA
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Dust jacket wrapped in Mylar; khaki board cover. Library sticker on the spine
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$195.71
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Dust jacket wrapped in Mylar; khaki board cover. Library sticker on the spine
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