State, Power, Anarchism, A Discussion of The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia
MetadataShow full item record
James Scott’s volume is a broad, compelling paean to the political agency and power of those who have been written out of history as backward and premodern—the people who resist states and create alternative forms of social and political governance. It is a cautionary tale for policymakers, scholars, military planners, and would-be state builders about the limits of state power and legitimacy, but also something of a guidebook on how to tame them. Scott’s eulogy for polymorphous human societies appears premature, however, given the many alternatively governed structures currently enabled by geographical remoteness, population density, globalization, and the state itself. The Art of Not Being Governed is troubling, less because it questions the morality of the state as a sociopolitical form than because it romanticizes nonstate peoples who seek violently to repel and escape the state.
The article of record as published may be located at http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S153759271000335X