Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, Media, Culture, and Communication and History, New York University (NYU)

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2001
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, Stanford University
The Imaginary State: Paperwork & Political Thought in France, 1789-1860

This dissertation will describe the emergence of the modern critique of "bureaucracy" in Western European political thought. A central contention will be that the critique results from a difficulty conceptualizing the phenomenon of paperwork, that is, the mass production, reproduction, and exchange of documents on which the state relied. The project will begin by examining the function of the critique during the French Revolution, when it first gained wide currency; it will then describe how it developed in France during the post­Revolutionary decades, ending up in the works of Michelet, Marx, Tocqueville, and Mill in the 1840s and 1850s.