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

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  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 1999-02-08
  • Publisher: Yale University Press

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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.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
State Projects of Legibility and Simplificationp. 9
Nature and Spacep. 11
Cities, People, and Languagep. 53
Transforming Visionsp. 85
Authoritarian High Modernismp. 87
The High-Modernist City: An Experiment and a Critiquep. 103
The Revolutionary Party: A Plan and a Diagnosisp. 147
The Social Engineering of Rural Settlement and Productionp. 181
Soviet Collectivization, Capitalist Dreamsp. 193
Compulsory Villagization in Tanzania: Aesthetics and Miniaturizationp. 223
Taming Nature: An Agriculture of Legibility and Simplicityp. 262
The Missing Linkp. 307
Thin Simplifications and Practical Knowledge: Metisp. 309
Conclusionp. 342
Notesp. 359
Sources for Illustrationsp. 433
Indexp. 435
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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