Book review: Alexander, Jeffrey, Dominik Bartmanski, and Bernhard Giesen, eds. 2012. Iconic Power. Materiality and Meaning in Social Life. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
In his book Government of Paper, Matthew Hull questions the way in which bureaucracies are enacted in practice through the analysis of the material products of their lifecycle—documents. Documents constantly engage with different people, places, and things, becoming “bureaucratic objects” that mediate all actors and objects involved. Previously overlooked in theoretical studies, the material side of documents seems to be crucial for shaping the governance of a city and its inhabitants. As writing practices and “graphic artifacts” establish a stable relationship between words and things, discourse, and individuals/objects/environments, a focus on documents can provide a new methodological perspective in the analysis of state bureaucracies. The book contains six parts: The introduction provides the reader with a theoretical framework on the material practices of bureaucracy establishment. It is followed by five thematic chapters devoted to different types of widely used documents among state bureaucrats of the Islamabad Capital Territory Administration (ICTA) and Capital Development Authority (CDA).
The article is focused on the problem of drawing and re-drawing the boundaries of the aesthetic, which has become extremely actual in the last decades because of expansion of the topical and discursive field of aesthetics. According to one of the main theses of the article this expansion of “aesthetics beyond aesthetics” (Wolfgang Welsch) is embedded in the very logics of development of the initial project of aesthetic theory as well as aesthetic field itself.
This article is talking about state management and cultural policy, their nature and content in term of the new tendency - development of postindustrial society. It mentioned here, that at the moment cultural policy is the base of regional political activity and that regions can get strong competitive advantage if they are able to implement cultural policy successfully. All these trends can produce elements of new economic development.