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The urban dimension of civil conflict and violence: a study on the relationship between the city, conflict and violence in Beirut

Yassin, N.; (2008) The urban dimension of civil conflict and violence: a study on the relationship between the city, conflict and violence in Beirut. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This thesis aims to improve our understanding of the relationship between the city and civil conflict and violence. The thesis is building on the explanation that urbanisation and cities are at the heart of societal transformation as complex forms of social life and not as previously reduced to a partial phenomenon, an accidental aspect or to a backdrop of societal changes. Conversely societal change not only occurs on the city-space but becomes an integral part of the makeup of the city. In relation to the subject of conflict and violence, the thesis argues that cities generate conditions that catalyse and alter related social, economic, political and cultural processes that intensify these phenomena. The city becomes more than just 'a site where powerful external forces intersect, intensifying differences and conflicts among local groups’ (Susser and Schneider, 2003:1). It acts like a prism that changes the trajectory of processes that happen initially outside its ‘gates’ and stirs and intensifies them generating the conditions for accelerated conflict. Reciprocally, the thesis argues that cities are shaped by the very processes that occur and intersect though them. The city, as a dynamic entity, is influenced by these processes and changes accordingly. Through studying the case of Beirut, the thesis will explain how the city and the urban condition shape social, political and spatial dynamics producing accelerated conflict and violence; and how the city in turn was shaped by these dynamics in four particulars: • Firstly, urban differentials in the settlement pattern of sectarian groups or communities in the city and their outcome in terms of the relationship between the old and new urbanites. • Secondly, the dynamics of inter-communal social relations in the city and the role of the urban condition in shaping social interactions between communities. • Thirdly, the influence of the urban condition on shaping the political process and politicisation of communities. • Fourthly, the outcomes of conflict and violence on re-shaping the city and its milieus.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:The urban dimension of civil conflict and violence: a study on the relationship between the city, conflict and violence in Beirut
Language:English
Additional information:Authorisation for digital version not received
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Development Planning Unit

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