Nice to see the World Bank has joined in on the China Development Blog bandwagon. The World Bank's site, started on February 18 2008, can be found here:
Here are some thoughts on James C. Scott, Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed.
Scott's assertions over "hegemonic planning" makes for interesting reading regarding state failure in socialist countries between the 60'sand 80's.
During this period the development paradigms set by OECD nations were not followed by socialist countries. Scott offers a rounded picture with his ideas on state "imperialism" which allows us to cross lines of political ideology.
Furthermore, centrally planned hegemony is certainly not a complete process. China's Great Western Development Plan, constructed to develop China's minority western regions, aims to re-dress the imbalance in the pace of development present in the country. This plan not only disregards local knowledge but also offers the Chinese state an opportunity to increase its control in these areas. The failure of previous mass economic mobilisations in China, such as the Great Leap Forward, has not proved a deterrent in repeating this kind of planning. In the light of Scott's ideas, the likelihood of failure on the part of the state to bring economic development in the western regions of China seems to be very high.