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Government of Paper
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Government of Paper: The Materiality of Bureaucracy in Urban Pakistan

Matthew S. Hull


In the electronic age, documents appear to have escaped their paper confinement. But we are still surrounded by flows of paper with enormous consequences. In the planned city of Islamabad, order and disorder are produced through the ceaseless inscription and circulation of millions of paper artifacts among bureaucrats, politicians, property owners, villagers, imams (prayer leaders), businessmen, and builders. What are the implications of such a thorough paper mediation of relationships among people, things, places, and purposes? This book explores this question in the routine yet unpredictable ... More

Keywords: electronic age, paper, Islamabad, Pakistan, urban bureaucracy, bureaucratic documentation, state governance

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780520272149
Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520272149.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Matthew S. Hull, author
University of Michigan