Cities and Sovereignty: Identity Politics in Urban Spaces by Diane E. Davis, Nora Libertun de Duren

By Diane E. Davis, Nora Libertun de Duren

Towns have lengthy been linked to variety and tolerance, yet from Jerusalem to Belfast to the Basque state, a number of the such a lot intractable conflicts of the previous century have performed out in city areas. The individuals to this interdisciplinary quantity study the interrelationships of ethnic, racial, spiritual, or different identification conflicts and bigger battles over sovereignty and governance. below what stipulations do identification conflicts undermine the legitimacy and tool of realms, empires, or city specialists? Does the city equipped surroundings play a job in remedying or exacerbating such conflicts? making use of comparative research, those case stories from the center East, Europe, and South and Southeast Asia develop our knowing of the origins and nature of city clash.

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It is hard to provide an answer to these questions, or to establish a line of causality. However, there are at least four observations about this case that could be useful for tracing alternative configurations for Jerusalem’s future. The first one is that we must distinguish between conflict among city residents, and the use of residents to dispute conflicts about the city (or about concerns beyond it). The second is that dependency on institutions independent from the city comes at a very high price: residents of Jerusalem were deprived of their resources when World War I began and excluded from participating in the decision-Â�making processes when the moment to choose a new government came.

The people of Jerusalem at the beginning of the twentieth century did not identify themselves simply as Christians, Muslims, or Jewish; they constructed their religious identity with a zealousness and specificity that entailed drawing very circumscribed sub-Â�boundaries within larger ecclesiastical groupings. There were “more than 45,000 Jews in Jerusalem divided into six sections—the SepharaÂ� dim of Spanish origins; the Ashkenazim chiefly of German, Polish and Russian extraction; the Jews of Yemen, Arabia; the Jews of Aleppo, Damascus and Bagdad, the Gurgeee, Persian and Bokhari Jews from the Caucasus, Persia and Turkestan, and the Karaim, Karaites from the Crimea.

After World War I there emerged an urbanism based on the notion of association. Colonial authorities came to the conclusion that transplanting French culture into the newly conquered territories was unrealistic since colonies often had too few French administrators to implement such projects. In addition, the colonial theorist Jules Harmand, who supported a policy of association, claimed, “the social standards of the Native inhabitants were too remote from those of France for assimilation to be practicable” (Mamdani 1996, 83).

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