Publisher: C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
Binding: Soft cover
Book Condition: New
Argues that within the seemingly chaotic malaise of Karachi's politics, a form of 'manageable violence' exists, on which the functioning of the city is based. Num Pages: 256 pages. BIC Classification: 1FKP; 3JM; HBJF; HBLX; JFSG. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 215 x 146 x 24. Weight in Grams: 490. . 2014. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9781849043113
Synopsis: With an official population approaching fifteen million, Karachi is one of the largest cities in the world. It is also the most violent. Since the mid- 1980s, it has endured endemic political conflict and criminal violence, which revolve around control of the city and its resources (votes, land and bhatta - 'protection' money). These struggles for the city have become ethnicised. Karachi, often referred to as a 'Pakistan in miniature,' has become increasingly fragmented, socially as well as territorially. Despite this chronic state of urban political warfare, Karachi is the cornerstone of the economy of Pakistan. Gayer's book is an attempt to elucidate this conundrum. Against journalistic accounts describing Karachi as chaotic and ungovernable, he argues that there is indeed order of a kind in the city's permanent civil war. Far from being entropic, Karachi's polity is predicated upon organisational, interpretative and pragmatic routines that have made violence 'manageable' for its populations. Whether such 'ordered disorder' is viable in the long term remains to be seen, but for now Karachi works despite - and sometimes through - violence.
About the Author: Laurent Gayer is a research fellow at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), currently posted at the Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH) in Delhi. He is also Research Associate at the Centre d'Etudes de l'Inde et de l'Asie du Sud in Paris. He has coedited, with Christophe Jaffrelot, Armed Militias of South Asia: Fundamentalists, Maoists, and Separatists, and Muslims in Indian Cities: Trajectories of Marginalisation, both of which are published by Hurst.
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