Video instructions and help with filling out and completing When 8850 Form Governing

Instructions and Help about When 8850 Form Governing

Welcome to the Macmillan report I'm Marilyn Wilkes your host and our guest is James Scott Stirling professor of political science professor of anthropology and co-director of the agrarian Studies program at Yale University the author of several books including seeing like a state professor Scott's research concerns political economy comparative agrarian societies peasant politics Southeast Asia theories of class relations and anarchism today we'll talk with Professor Scott about his newest book the art of not being governed it's the first ever examination of the volumes of literature on state making that evaluates why people would deliberately remain stateless welcome professor Scott happy to be here let's begin with an overview of your book tell us about it the book is a study of perhaps 100 million people who live in the Highland areas between Southeast Asia China and India so this is an area above Oh 200 250 meters in the highlands of Vietnam all of Laos little corner of Cambodia northern Thailand northern Burma the southern large southern provinces of China Yunnan guanxi and Guo Jo and also northeastern India and these are this is an area where I argue these hundred million or so people who speak many different languages who belong to many different ethnic groups they are often seen as primitive people who have always stayed who have never been in a sense touched by States my argument is that these people for the last two thousand years have been running away from States from taxes from disease from Wars from conscription and overtime they had moved into the hills as states have displaced them the Chinese stayed in particular and that they have become ethnic groups in the hills so they're not primitive people there are people who have chosen to move to the hills and stay in the hills in order to avoid the inconvenience of being incorporated as a state how did you come to write the book what gave you the idea well I've always I'm a Southeast Asian so I work on Southeast Asia in particularly Malaysia and now I'm working on Burma and I began being interested in the in the minority ethnic groups of Burma which are 30% of the country and which have conducted rebellions against the Burmese government for the last 40 or 50 years they're the longest rebellions in a sense in the modern in the modern world and as you probably know on the seventh of November Burma is holding largely fake elections and so I originally became interested in this in trying to understand the deep history of Burmese politics the relationship between the valley people and the hill people that's the way people think in Southeast Asia and so this got to be larger than that and got to be a deep history of the hill people in general throughout Southeast Asia and tell us about your methodology how did you do the research it seems like it would be fairly difficult given this the span the geography well in the past I have although I'm trained as a political scientist I actually work more like an anthropologist so I have spent a couple of years living in it in a malay village and I have spent a fair amount of time in the hills of Burma it's impossible to do research in Burma to get a research visa but you can do a fair amount of informal research by simply trekking in the hills so I've done a little bit of that but largely the book is an effort to canvass the literature everything we know about all these groups throughout the hills how they came to be there some of the some of these groups you probably are familiar with the Hmong or Miao people who are you could large numbers or refugees because they work for the CIA in Laos many of these people in California some of them in Minneapolis some of them in Providence some of them in North Carolina and so I picked the major ethnic groups and then did a survey of their folklore of their agriculture of their histories and what we know about their movements historically and in your book you you talk about the somya who are the people of zou Mia as Oh Mia is just a word a it's not my word a Dutch scholar with whom I've worked he invented the terms Oh Mia so there's a place called Mizoram in northeastern India and zou happens to mean he'll or some people believe it means a place far from the center and so since this is in a sense and mountain region far from States this is a as I said this area is an area of a hundred million people but it is it runs through the borders of eight different nation states Burma Thailand China India and so on and it's the periphery of all of them and so my colleague vilem van Schendel he thought that we should not have area studies that are concerned with just Southeast Asia or with a nation we should think of zones that have nothing to do with States so these are people in a sense who have a lot in common with one another by not being a part of States and we should study this group as a whole and he proposed that we have institutes and conferences onso Mian studies and he invented the word as a way of describing this both of the geography of this area this mountain zone and the people who live there tell us about some of the findings in your book well I can tell you about two findings that might or three findings that might be interesting the first one is that I regard this area as what some story ins call a shatter zone that is to say it's an area where people who were fleeing states