Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 1 session / week, 1.5 hours / session

Course Overview

This course is being offered in conjunction with a Faculty Seminar on Cities in Conflict that is part of larger initiative sponsored by the Center for International Studies (CIS) with DUSP collaboration. The originating aim of the larger initiative was to consider the case of Jerusalem, and to discuss and develop alternative ways of generating a vision of peace for that war-torn and conflict-ridden city. But during Fall 2003 both the faculty seminar and this student-oriented course will focus much more broadly -- on cities in conflict more generally -- with the expectation that sustained readings and discussion of a variety of comparative and historical contexts will help produce an analytic and prescriptive infrastructure for understanding Jerusalem and other divided cities. Accordingly, students do not have to have a special interest in Jerusalem to take this course; they need only be concerned about cities in conflict and have a desire to see them in peace.

The course's aims are two-fold:

1) to offer students the theoretical and practical tools to understand how and why cities become torn by ethnic, religious, racial, nationalist, and/or other forms of identity that end up leading to conflict, violence, inequality, and social injustice; and

2) to use this knowledge and insight in the search for solutions

As preparation, students will be required to become familiar with social and political theories of the city and the nation and their relationship to each other. They also will focus on the ways that racial, ethnic, religious, nationalist or other identities grow and manifest themselves in cities or other territorial levels of determination (including the regional or transnational). In the search for remedies, students will be encouraged to consider a variety of policymaking or design points of entry, ranging from the political-institutional (e.g. forms of democratic participation and citizenship) to spatial, infrastructural, and technological interventions.

Course Dynamics

Full credit (2-0-7) reading course offered in conjunction with the interdisciplinary Faculty Seminar on Cities in Conflict. Students and instructors will meet on their own, bi-monthly, in addition to participating in the Faculty Seminar.

Course Requirements

Students are expected to read, critically assess, and write commentaries on course readings, participate in the institute-wide Faculty Seminar, and write a final paper that focuses on a conflicted city of their choice. Students will be encouraged to develop field or empirical research projects that could be pursued in Spring 2004 as the Faculty Seminar continues, and possibly in a longer-term time frame.


The course is intended primarily for advanced masters' and doctoral students, but students with experience and/or a special interest in Jerusalem, regions of the world where the challenge of nation-building is now working itself out in cities (e.g. Mitrovica, Mostar, and other locations in the Balkans), or other cities of the world where religious, racial, or ethnic tensions have a longstanding presence (Jakarta, Ahmedabad, Johannesburg, etc.) are strongly encouraged to participate.