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This course charts classical social theory of bureaucracy, key historical work and emergent ethnographies in this new field. While it includes case studies that range from (post)colonial, (post)socialist and EU contexts, its focus is not regional but methodological. We look at such issues as bureaucratic rationality, cultural intimacy and state affect, material and archival turns, ethnographies of archives, bookkeeping and digitalization of state, social lives of paper and digital documents, and violence symbolic and real.