Karachi: Ordered Disorder and the Struggle for the City


Product Details

Oxford University Press (UK)
Publish Date
6.09 X 1.15 X 8.74 inches | 1.3 pounds
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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 Marginalization, both of which are available from OUP.


"Laurent Gayer's Karachi is the best book yet published on the interplay of politics, ethnicity, religion, and criminality in one of the world s largest cities." --Anatol Lieven, New York Review of Books

"This is an extraordinarily well-researched and deeply informed book about the transformation of Karachi, once known as the City of Lights into a byword for endemic violence and urban break down. Gayer's knowledge of the city, many central events, people and places that have been pivotal in this transformation is very impressive indeed."--Thomas Blom Hansen, Stanford University, author of Wages of Violence: Naming and Identity in Postcolonial Bombay

"Gayer meticulously shows how a complicated palimpsest of actors is both at the root of recurrent problems, and the reason why continuous violence, simultaneously creative and destructive, yet also increasingly opaque and complicated, fails to erupt into a full-blown conflagration. This prosaic insight forms the common ground that allows political scientists to communicate with anthropologists, and activist practitioners with poets and militants. The result is a sophisticated, timely intervention destined to calmly steer the reader through Karachi's current crisis of violent transition."--Nichola Khan, Senior Lecturer in the School of Applied Social Science, University of Brighton and author of Mohajir Militancy in Pakistan

"Laurent Gayer's Karachi is the best book yet published on the interplay of politics, ethnicity, religion, and criminality in one of the world's largest cities." -- Anatol Lieven, New York Review of Books

"[This] is a thoroughly researched book. The author has clearly spent many months in the city and drawn on a variety of sources. The book is sprinkled with quotes from various Urdu texts and conversations he had with Karachi's residents, making this book an enjoyable and useful read." -- Deccan Herald

"A vivid book. ... Mr Gayer explodes that myth of Karachi as a secular city." -- Mira Sethi, Wall Street Journal

"There is no doubt in my mind that Gayer's Karachi is destined to become the primary point of reference for further work ... a superb book." -- Dawn