Latest Issue

Targets and tick-boxes: thinking about bureaucracy

Marina Warner, David Graeber and the perils of paperwork

By Jonathan Derbyshire  

I was an academic in a previous life, and occasionally people ask me why I left the university to work in a “dying industry” (print journalism, that is). Occasionally—very occasionally—I ask myself the same question. But a conversation with those of my contemporaries from graduate school who stuck it out—and there are a few, along with the man who jacked it in after doing a PhD on the early Heidegger and went on to make millions…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect