March 1, 2012

The Rationality of Taking to the Hills

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Read the full article at SSRN or SpringerLink.

In The Art of Not Being Governed (2009), Scott revises the state generated narratives of the hill people of Zomia which describes them as an aboriginal population that have simply failed to become more civilized. As an alternative, Scott views hill peoples as state-repelling societies or even anti-state societies. As we suggest in this article, by at least implicitly employing a rational choice framework, Scott is able to make sense why people would attempt to avoid being state subjects by taking to the hills as well as why their descendants have remained in the hills.