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


by Scott, James C.

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

Price:  US$30.24   (SGD42.00*)
Format:  Paper Back, 442 pages
Published:  2010, Singapore, 1st Edition
ISBN:  9789971694975
SB#:  047827 (103)

About This 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 organised state societies that surround them - slavery, conscription, taxes, corvée labour, 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 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 re-evaluation of the civilisational narratives of the lowland states.


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