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Reporting from:. Your name. Your email. Send Cancel. Check system status. Toggle navigation Menu. Name of resource. Problem URL. Describe the connection issue. SearchWorks Catalog Stanford Libraries. Cities, war, and terrorism : towards an urban geopolitics. Responsibility edited by Stephen Graham. Physical description xxiii, p. Series Studies in urban and social change.

Online Available online. Full view. Green Library. C Unknown. More options. Find it at other libraries via WorldCat Limited preview. Contributor Graham, Stephen, The future of the Persian Gulf city-system, with the Baghdad city-system as a key sub-element, was central to the calculation. Wherever we look, the city-level aspects of the war against the regime in Baghdad are clear:.

Cities war terrorism towards an urban geopolitics (studies in urban …

Certainly the recent history of conflict in the Persian Gulf should lead us to the conclusion that cities are at the centre of regional struggle: the first Gulf War - between Iraq and Iran began with the battle for Abadan, Ahvaz and Khorramshahr. These cities continue to be scarred by the destruction of twenty years ago. In its later trajectory, the first Gulf War expanded into another version of the "war of the cities" with missile strikes and air raids on each other's population centres. In the second Gulf War , Saddam attempted to expand the war by striking at Israeli cities, and Kuwait City was looted during the Iraqi withdrawal.

In the broader Middle East, the Israelis are reassessing their strategic doctrine in light of the April events in Jenin Israelis now say that the lessons they have learned in the second intifada, for example in how to deal with suicide bombings, suggest that they must now place increased reliance on "special forces, sniper squads, pre-emptive assassinations what the Israeli military calls pin-point preventive acts and enhanced intelligence tactics. Other Middle East battles and conflicts that are being studied by Palestinians and Israelis alike include the Siege of Beirut during ; the taking of Jerusalem in or the fighting for the city in ; street-to-street fighting in Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War; the house-to-house fighting in Gaza that occurred in early ; or the fight for Mogadishu.

In sum, human history tells us that cities must be taken, controlled, dominated, as the key sites of "the other's" identity and power. This is the core of conflict, where spatially-grounded networks meets human will. When Tamerlane took Baghdad years ago, he massacred 20, of the city's defenders and piled their skulls outside the city, allowed the city's women to be raped, and exiled the artisan community to Samarkand.

Cities, War, and Terrorism: Towards an Urban Geopolitics (Studies in Urban and Social Change)

The city still bears the scars of this destruction in its built environment and historical narrative. City wars are not new for the Baghdad'i city system; and the destruction of cities in the Persian Gulf is a 5,year-old human activity. City wars are fundamental to human conflict, creating a dystopia of chaos and disorder. Gavin Stamp]. Despite 5, years of centrality to conflict, however, cities have virtually been ignored in the academic literature on conflict resolution or anti-war.

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This lack of direct attention, however, does not mean that cities are neither sites for conflict resolution nor agents themselves at scales beyond their walls. In fact, under close examination, there are a range of issues and praxis where conflict resolution dynamics can be identified.

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In the war against the Baghdadi city-system, for example, we see that cities and city-systems were deeply involved in attempts at peacemaking and peace building. Two examples are illustrative:. Beyond examples linked to the recent war, it is crucial to understand that cities and city systems have long been involved as sites or agents for resolving conflict and peace building.

A sample of recent praxis suggests the range of projects and activity:. City-networks are struggling to overcome division and separation in cross-border contexts; both between states and within broader geographic regions. Municipal foreign policy across a range of issues central to conflict resolution is not new. Four themes or issue areas where cities have expressed dissident foreign policy during the last twenty five years are in promoting peaceful relations among peoples; in creating the conditions for peace building through sustainable development for all; in standing for environmental protection; and in affirming human rights and global protection.

The municipal "nuclear free-zone" movement which began in Japan during the 's and culminated in the 's with 3, authorities in 17 countries declaring their territories off-limits to the manufacture, storage or transport of nuclear weapons, is an example of the desire of municipal leaders to deny the descent into nuclear terror as the preferred strategy for settling human conflicts.

There is a black hole in the peacemaking literature when it comes to cities and to the urban scale. Search any of the major types of literature concerning conflict resolution: textbooks; the extensive websites; the electronic journals; the training workbooks used by the INGOs; curriculum packages developed to teach peace building; or the conflict analysis frameworks for mapping and strategic intervention. No matter where you look, you will not find the word "cities" or "urban" employed.

There is a wealth of state-centric material, some references to community-based approaches, nascent work on corporations, a growing reference to the contributions of non-governmental organizations 61 , and a few references to the contribution of regional organizations, but nothing about cities or city-systems. However, no matter where you look, the substantive arguments about what is required for conflict resolution, about the dynamics of conflict transformation, about the praxis of peace making, all actually link very clearly to the urban scale, and cry out for agency at the urban level.

Their major report recommended numerous ways to prevent conflict. At one point, the authors argue that:. As a practical manifestation of this recommendation, the Commission suggested empowering the OSCE to take on the role of social monitoring.


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  • Yet the OSCE is a collection of states, not communities as sites where people live. It would appear more appropriate to the spirit of the recommendation to enhance the city-system arm of regional organizations. There are already numerous transnational municipal organizations at the regional and global level. Such municipal networks have moved a range of issues onto the international, regional or national agenda; a number of them have intentionally taken on peace issues. The Carnegie Commission on Preventing Conflict also suggested that conflict transformation requires a balance of coercion and reassurance, carrots and sticks, to move actors toward transformation.

    Although they were talking about states and IGOs, city-systems should be considered here as well.

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    Certainly city-systems cannot currently provide the violence aspect of the coercion component, although they have played this role numerous times over the past 5, years. However, it is in the arena of the reassurance aspects, establishing positive remedial action and opportunities for early awareness, useable early warning, and early action, that city-systems might make an important contribution.

    In its conclusion, the Carnegie Commission argued for a realization that traditional diplomacy is no longer enough in the 21 st century world order; we need a change of paradigm, one that places strategic emphasis on early warning and early response I would argue that part of that paradigmatic shift, taking on more of Burton's provention concept 65 , or that of Luc Reychler and his ideas of field diplomacy 66 , gets us away from seeing the state as the only legitimate actor in conflict resolution.

    Developed as another part of the toolbox available to us, city system intervention may be able to make key contributions to conflict resolution at the regional level. In a recent well-received textbook in the field, Miall, Ramsbotham and Woodhouse present an overview of contemporary conflict resolution.

    One message of the book is that "the practice of conflict resolution has expanded and evolved Prevention, they argue, involves intervention soon after conflict situations have appeared, hopefully before attitudes and behaviour become embedded or locked into spirals or escalation. It also involves what Kenneth Boulding termed early warning conflict "data stations".

    In both these roles, cities formed into a network of regional cities might work both on the deeper or long term aspects of prevention through a focus on latent or emergent conflicts that are just beginning to enter the radar screen. States are either too slow to sense the appearance of conflict, or are too fast to categorize and polarize a conflict into zero-sum terms. Cities tasked with reading the local issues, with watching in a city-centric collective security arrangement for changes which could threaten the collective social welfare, for reacting quickly, may be more efficient and have an earlier time frame for highlighting issues and dealing with them creatively.

    Socially, city-systems might be more sensitive to a wider range of conflicts which were emergent; secondly, they could be better at "monitoring and appraising" progress; finally, they may have a chance to be listened to at more macro scales in ways that might elude NGOs. John Paul Lederach, in a article entitled "Conflict Transformation in Protracted Internal Conflicts: the Case for a Comprehensive Framework" concludes that, among other requirements for conflict transformation, it is crucial to build a peace constituency.

    In order to do this, he says, "indigenous empowerment" is central. Likewise, when Lederach suggests that conflict transformation requires the establishment of an infrastructure for peace, the potential of a city network, committed to regional, transboundary action on peacemaking, comes to mind.

    The Searching for Peace project of the European Centre for Conflict Prevention has published their findings as they seek to understand conflict prevention and peace building initiatives that are actually occurring in Asia and the Pacific.


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    • The goal of the project is to "facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experience between organizations and to identify the main actors, experts, publications and events" actually occurring regionally. There is no mention of the urban scale in the most recent product of the project. In his chapter, the author says that the three states which come together in the Ferghana Valley have a poor track record of official conflict management, since they have little trust of each other, and a strong state-sovereignty paradigm to the limits of state-centric conflict resolution.

      However, outside donors have begun projects that appear to promise long-term conflict prevention in the valley.