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…)
Posts Tagged ‘political violence’
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…)
|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
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:
Today 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.