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Conflict in Cities and the Contested State: Everyday Life and the Possibilities for Transformation in Belfast, Jerusalem and Other Divided Cities

  • Start date: 01 October 2007
  • End date: 31 March 2013

'Conflict in Cities and the Contested State' is a five year project starting in 2007 that focuses on divided cities as key sites in territorial conflicts over state and national identities, cultures and borders. The objectives are to analyse how such cities in Europe and the Middle East have been shaped by ethnic, religious and national conflicts, and conversely, how such cities absorb, resist and potentially play a role in transforming the conflicts which pervade and surround them.

The main sites for in situ research are Belfast and Jerusalem. Researchers from three UK universities - Cambridge, Exeter and Queen’s Belfast - will lead the multi-disciplinary initiative that includes:

  • architecture
  • urban studies
  • politics
  • geography
  • sociology

The teams will reflect the divisions being researched. Six PhD students will be attached to the programme and, in conjunction with an international network of academics and practitioners, will study other divided cities, such as Nicosia, Mostar, Berlin, Brussels, Beirut and Kirkuk. Within this overall project framework a contextual and comparative approach will be developed to explore wider issues of urban conflict and the possibilities for resolution.

Conflict in Cities and the Contested State builds on an earlier ESRC project begun in 2003.

Further information

Conflict in Cities and the Contested State contact: Dr Wendy Pullan

ESRC contact: Chris Wyatt

Thinking Aloud

Author: Wendy Pullan Date: 07 April 2013 Dissemination / Communication