Posts Tagged ‘city’

Between us in the City

Monday, May 28th, 2012

The latest issue of Environment and Planning D has a special theme issue: Citizenship Without Community edited by Angharad Closs Stephens and Vicky Squire. It’s a great issue with essays by Etienne Balibar, Engin Isin and Cindy Weber amongst others.

I have an essay in this issue on materiality, subjectivity, and community in the era of global urbanization. Essentially it’s about the need to think about buildings as that which are ‘between us’ in the city and thus about the need to take the material fabric of the city seriously if were are to think about community (and it’s implied shadow ‘citizenship’). It is largely a contestation of the usual ideas of community and citizenship that see these as abstract binds (mental, legal, human) between individuals regardless of context. The piece is available here, email me if you don’t have access behind the pay-wall and I will send you whatever the license allows.

The full theme issue Contents are:

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Divided Cities

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010
Divided Cities Book Cover

In March, Cambridge Review of International Affairs published my review of Jon Calame and Esther Charlesworth’s book Divided Cities: Belfast, Beirut, Jerusalem, Mostar, and Nicosia (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009). I was busy teaching  this spring and so forgot to write about it at the time – but I have returned to thinking about some of these themes in the wake of recent riots in Belfast. (more…)

Social networks and the war on terror

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

For those interested in the role of networks in contemporary warfare, Chris Wilson’s recent Searching for Saddam: A five-part series on how the U.S. military used social networking to capture the Iraqi dictator in Slate is worth reading. Wilson provides an accessible account of social network analysis and the manner in which interconnections can be mapped. His account of the construction of link diagrams to identify those that were harbouring Saddam after he had been deposed from power in 2003, resonates with much that has been written about the relationship of networks and contemporary warfare.
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The Chilean earthquake: urban materiality and feral cities

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Two articles in the Guardian on the Chilean earthquake caught my eye on Monday:

  • In Chile’s earthquake was horrible – but it could have been so much worse Rory Carrol points to the material differences between the Chilean earthquake and January’s much more destructive Haiti quake. The tectonic movements that Carol points to as the determinant of a quake’s strength are a reminder of the irruptive materiality of the environment. What caught my eye in this report, however, was the reference to the manner in which the urban fabric was key to the fate of the population in both cases. (more…)

Radicalisation and the urban environnment

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Mirror_mediator_flyerToday sees the opening of an exhibition based on the ESRC-funded research project The urban environment: Mirror and mediator of radicalisation? The exhibition has an excellent website outlining the various strands in the research project: www.urbanpolarisation.org

The project is based at the University of Manchester and Ralf Brand is the principle investigator (with Jon Coaffee as co-investigator and Sara Fregonese as Research Assistant). Overall the aim of the project is to explore the interrelation between the urban environment and  socio-political polarisation. Polarisation is assumed to have links with political violence (including radicalisation). You can read more about the project here.
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