Cities and Sovereignty

Cities and Sovereignty

Identity Politics in Urban Spaces
Edited by Diane Emily Davis and Nora Ruth Libertun De Duren
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 02/01/2011
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-22274-9
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Cities have long been associated with diversity and tolerance, but from Jerusalem to Belfast to the Basque Country, many of the most intractable conflicts of the past century have played out in urban spaces. The contributors to this interdisciplinary volume examine the interrelationships of ethnic, racial, religious, or other identity conflicts and larger battles over sovereignty and governance. Under what conditions do identity conflicts undermine the legitimacy and power of nation-states, empires, or urban authorities? Does the urban built environment play a role in remedying or exacerbating such conflicts? Employing comparative analysis, these case studies from the Middle East, Europe, and South and Southeast Asia advance our understanding of the origins and nature of urban conflict.

Author Bio

Diane E. Davis is Professor of Political Sociology and Head of the International Development Group, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT.

Nora Libertun de Duren is Director of Planning, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Urban Planning, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture.


“Employing comparative analysis, case studies from the Middle East, Europe, and South and Southeast Asia advance our understanding of the origins and nature of urban conflict.”

“Investigates the complex intersection of identity, community, nation, state, and sovereignty in urban spaces. . . . [A]n exciting and innovative contribution.”
 — Kevin Dunn, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

“This book offers valuable interdisciplinary perspectives on the nature of identity conflicts and governance, and their impacts upon the urban condition. This book is an insightful read for the urbanist, sociologist, political geographer, and historian alike—or anyone for that matter who is searching for a deeper understanding of the complexities of identities and their relations with networks of sovereignty.”
 — Contemporary Sociology

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
A Note on Dates
Introduction: Cities and Sovereignty: Identity Conflicts in the Urban Realm / Diane E. Davis and Nora Libertun de Duren
Part 1. Modes of Sovereignty, Urban Governance, and the City
1. Jerusalem at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century: Spatial Continuity and Social Fragmentation / Nora Libertun de Duren
2. Imperial Nationhood and Its Impact on Colonial Cities: Issues of Intergroup Peace and Conflict in Pondicherry and Vietnam / Anne Raffin
3. Confessionalism and Public Space in Ottoman and Colonial Jerusalem / Salim Tamari
Part 2. Scales of Sovereignty and the Remaking of Urban and National Space
4. Sovereignty, Nationalism, and Globalization in Bilbao and the Basque Country / Gerardo del Cerro Santamaría
5. Contesting the Legitimacy of Urban Restructuring and Highways in Beirut's Irregular Settlements / Agnès Deboulet and Mona Fawaz
6. Urban Locational Policies and the Geographies of Post-Keynesian Statehood in Western Europe / Neil Brenner
Part 3. Sovereignty, Representation, and the Urban Built Environment
7. Iconic Architecture and Urban, National, and Global Identities / Leslie Sklair
8. The Temptations of Nationalism in Modern Capital Cities / Lawrence J. Vale
9. Hurvat haMidrash--The Ruin of the Oracle: Louis Kahn's Influence on the Reconstruction of the Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem / Eric Orozco
Conclusion: Theoretical and Empirical Reflections on Cities, Sovereignty, Identity, and Conflict / Diane E. Davis
List of Contributors

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