Cities and Conflict

As the majority of the planet population lives in cities, conflict is predominantly an urban challenge. What does an urban lens reveal about the actors (state and nonstate), geopolitical discourses and everyday dynamics of conflict? How does conflict impact on the space and life of cities and how does the space of cities, in turn shape conflict and pave the way to post-conflict?

This module explores the urban geographies of both historical and current conflict across a range of cities, focusing on different stages and aspects of conflict including polarisation and escalation, division and partition, protracted conflict and cumulative impact, terrorism, and post-conflict geographies.

The module draws on concepts from political geography and cognate disciplines, and adopts a deliberately wide notion of conflict that encompasses situations of simmering tension, open combat through to the phases after the cessation of hostilities. It provides a conceptual vocabulary and a repertoire of examples to understand and analyse some of the major conflicts and urban divisions of the twentieth and twenty-first century and their challenging post-conflict phases. It includes traditional lecture delivery and interactive seminars, where students will deepen their knowledge of and engage in debate and problem-based learning.

By the end of the module students should be able to:

  • Write for non-academic audiences
  • Urban analysis of conflict and post-conflict situations