Author Archives: James C. Scott

About James C. Scott

Sterling Professor of Political Science and professor of anthropology at Yale University, as well as co-director of the Agrarian Studies Program. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His research concerns political economy, comparative agrarian societies, theories of hegemony and resistance, peasant politics, revolution, Southeast Asia, theories of class relations, and anarchism. His publications include Domination and the Arts of Resistance (Yale, 1985); Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance (Yale, 1980); Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (Yale, 1998); The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (Yale, 2008); and Two Cheers for Anarchism (Princeton, 2012).


In this interview, Yale political scientist and anthropologist James C. Scott talks about the evolution of his work on the state from the perspective of those who try to avoid it. The author of Weapons of the Weak, Seeing like a State, and The Art of Not Being Governed—to cite some of Scott’s major books—discusses the major intellectual influences on his work, from Pierre Clastres to Ernest Gellner, his views of the mainstream sociology of the state, and what distinguishes his work from subaltern studies, as well as the contemporary forms that the refusal of state government can take. In discussing his work, Scott also provides a window onto a personal and intellectual voyage that has led him to develop a unique view of modernity and social development. Continue reading →