European Consortium for Political Research
Violence in the City: Actors, Forms and Dynamics of Urban Violence
This section addresses violence as an urban phenomenon. It looks into violence that occurs in the city and at the violence that is of the city, thus caused or shaped by it. The section explores forms, actors and dynamics of urban violence. Violence is conceptualised as bodily practice and embodied experience. Urban wars, violent demonstrations, terrorist attacks, domestic violence – contemporary forms of urban violence – nonetheless circumscribe quite different practices and experiences. Additionally, a rising gap between rich and poor manifests itself in urban segregations along class, ethnic or religious lines but also in processes of gentrification and the global rise of (violent) evictions and displacements. Millions of people across the globe are currently forced to leave their homes either because of direct violence or because they can no longer afford to pay rents or mortgages, let alone to access basic services. These and other forms of urban violence and insecurity, so our starting point, are directly embedded in the global political economy, shaped by its fluctuations and crisis.
This section draws attention to the different direct and indirect forms of urban violence, its actors, dynamics and causes. It invites papers that explore the micro-politics of violence: motives, tactics and strategies that inform urban actors of violence. We also invite papers that look into macro-politics: how global structures cause and inform urban violence and with which effects. Empirical papers, with case-studies or in comparative perspectives, and conceptual and theoretical papers on violence in the city are welcome.
Panel 1: Actors of Urban Violence
Chair: Miriam Müller-Rensch (University of Erfurt)
Who are the actors of violence in the city? This panel seeks to explore different types of violent actors and from this, understand the how and why of urban violence and to discuss its effects. The panel further invites explorations of how violence and its actors are shaped by characteristics of the urban and by its spatial qualities, among it the density and often linearity of housing, its architecture, its speed and increased mobility or the complexity of urban infrastructures etc. As urban violence is often concentrated in particular places or occurs at particular times, we also invite papers that explore the relations between violence and time, looking into the city’s rhythms (circadian rhythms, economic conjunctures, information flows) and how they relate to violence.
In short, we invite papers that address actors of violence and how they locate themselves in the city, move through and make use of urban space.
Panel 2: Resistance to Capitalism in the City: Urban Social Movements
Chair: Stephan Malthaner (Hamburger Institute fuer Sozialforschung)
We invite papers that use the perspective of the city to examine forms of political violence that claim to resist societal/political wrongs. It takes its cue from urban protests such as the G20-protests in Hamburg, the anti-austerity protest across (Southern-)European cities, the Occupy-movement against inequality, and demands for radical social change in places such as Kairo or Kiev. The panel aims to discuss various forms of urban resistance movements in a global perspective and is focused on the use of violence during these protests but also the structural violence these movements identify and work against. We invite case studies and comparative case studies that situate urban resistance movements within broader global political and economic dynamics.
Panel 3: Gendered Dynamics of Violence in the City
Chair: Alex Veit (University of Bremen)
Gendered dynamics inform the way, men, women, queer or transgender people navigate their ways in the city, how they access (or not) particular city places, and the forms of violence they experience (or themselves practice) while doing so. Gender is an intrinsic part of everyday struggles for security in the city: Men often control women’s access to the city evoking their power invested in patriarchal ideas. The home can thereby become the most unsafe place for women. However, gendered dynamics also affect men, as the high rate of male homicides and low life expectancy of for example male gang members indicate. This panel asks for papers that address these entanglements of gender, the city, and violence/insecurity in particular or comparative case studies, as well as papers that address how these entanglements are rooted in wider relations of power.
Panel 4: Urban Industries and Political Violence
Chair: Kirsti Stuvøy (Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
This panel addresses questions of industrial development in cities in their relation to political violence. De-industrialisation affects cities worldwide, famous among them the “rust-belt” in the USA, the Ruhr area in Germany, former UK coal mining cities, cities in the African copper belt or many cities of the former Soviet Union. In many states, famously BRICS states, so-called mono-industrial cities, dependent on one particular industry, are becoming increasingly relevant. Beyond the dynamics of industrialisation and de-industrialisation, a large number of industries are built and conducted informally, are more fluid and rely on make-shift solutions pertaining to both social and physical infrastructures. This panel is interested in the violent effects of these different types of industrialisation/de-industrialisation, among it the production of winners and losers from these economies, as well as papers that look into how the global political economy inform these developments.
Panel 5: Urban Government and Policing
Chair: Jutta Bakonyi (Durham University)
This section is interested in the government of cities. It looks into how state and non-state actors are involved in the production of order and the implicit and explicit violence the arrangements of urban government entail. While we also invite papers that explore either single actors of urban government (such as police/military, paramilitaries, or urban gangs) we are particularly interested in how these different actors relate to each other. Shifting from the actors to the actions, we also invite papers that look into (old and new) technologies of urban government, shedding light on for example the ways cities are governed through the erection of physical or the use of mobile boundaries, the way city architecture is used to govern or expresses particular form of governments, and the way city governments deal with situation of crisis.
You can submit paper proposals specifically for one of the existing panels or for the section as a whole. As additional panels can be created, the section is open to submissions on relevant topics and current debates beyond those covered by the panels listed in the section. Papers can be submitted via the ECPR homepage: https://ecpr.eu/Events/EventDetails.aspx?EventID=123
Deadline for Panel and Paper proposals: 18 feb 2019