Posts Tagged ‘political violence’

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…)

Bangkok: the future of urban war

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Watching  Bangkok burn 1 over the last few days has been both disturbing and upsetting. The use of  heavy armour against a predominantly civilian protest movement (segments of which have latterly turned to small arms and improvised weapons in its stand off with the government) has been a timely reminder of the forms of violence that could mark our urban future.  In some ways it has exemplified dynamics already identified in the literature on urban warfare. The cycle of occupation, displacement and reoccupation that the army and redshirts have been engaged in looks a lot like the ‘pop-up armies and spatial chess‘ that Robert Warren detailed in 2002. (more…)

  1. Thanks to Kyle Grayson for this link

Imagining urban cataclysm

Monday, November 16th, 2009
On Thursday and Friday (19th & 20th November) I will be at the World Politics and Popular Culture conference organised by Newcastle University Politics staff Simon Philpott, Matt Davies and Kyle Grayson. The conference will explore the manner in which

popular culture become[s] a series of sites at which political meaning is made, where political contestation takes place and where political orthodoxy is reproduced and challenged

I will be giving a paper entitled Zombies and flesh eaters: imagining urban cataclysm in the era of metropolitanisation.

The paper will discuss the relation between the politics of global urbanisation and representations of urban cataclysm in the film 28 Days Later, video game Resident Evil; and Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road. I argue that novels, films and games are textual artefacts embedded in complex assemblages of things, signs, meanings and affects. As such they are mutually imbricated with the dynamics of delineation and contestation we refer to as ‘politics’.

The paper discusses two particular ideas arising from a reading of these texts:

28 Days Later Poster
The Road

(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.
(more…)