On Narrow Ground
Urban Policy and Ethnic Conflict in Jerusalem and Belfast
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Uses case studies of Jerusalem and Belfast to explore how cities function in the midst of nationalistic conflict.
Examining how nationalistic ethnic conflict penetrates the building of cities, this book explores whether urban policymaking may independently influence the shape and magnitude of that conflict. Bollens utilizes an analytic lens to study the complex spatial and psychological qualities of unique urban arenas of nationalistic conflict and the obstacles faced by policymakers in improving intergroup relations. An integrative analytic approach combining the perspectives of political science, urban planning, geography, and social psychology is used to examine such urban issues as sovereignty, territoriality, group identity, and community organization. Focusing on Jerusalem and Belfast as examples of urban polarization, the book describes struggles over local policymaking that are intensified by disputes reflecting racial, nationalist, and/or religious fractures. Because these cities are important microcosms of regional and international conflict, they constitute an essential analytical scale for studying contemporary intrastate patterns and processes of ethnic conflict, violence, and their management.
Scott A. Bollens is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of California, Irvine. His previous books include Urban Peacebuilding in Divided Societies and (with David R. Godschalk, John S. Hekman, and Mike E. Miles) Land Supply Monitoring: A Guide for Improving Public and Private Urban Development Decisions.
"…an intellectually accessible and highly rewarding book. " — Political Science Quarterly
"…invaluable … " — CHOICE
"The issues raised are very crucial and currently in the news. This is a carefully prepared book on a timely topic, and the author displays good knowledge of diverse cultural situations. The two case studies are excellent and provide useful new information. " — Arthur Jay Klinghoffer, author of The International Dimension of Genocide in Rwanda