Land administration crowds, clouds, and the state

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In his book Seeing Like a State, Scott (1998) describes the introduction of cadastre, civil registry, and other systems in western Europe at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The purpose of that introduction was the creation of legibility of society so that the emerging state could administer its territory and population. The legibility created by states was not identical to the existing social reality; the state had to limit itself in the collection of information, and any description was by definition an abstraction. Scott describes how the state information replaced social reality because the state has the power to force it on society by denying services to citizens if those are not requested for in terms of this state-created reality.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in responsible land administration
EditorsJ.A. Zevenbergen, W.T. de Vries, R.M. Bennett
Place of PublicationBoca Raton
PublisherCRC Press (Taylor & Francis)
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-4291-7414-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-4987-1961-2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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