Add to Technorati Favorites

Weekly Index
Research Sites

  • Features
  • Categories
  • Resources
  • About


Last 100 Entries
« Reply to Bousquet | Main | Assembling the Social and Urban Heterogeneity »

Delimiting Urbicide

I would first like to thank Mike for inviting me again me to a CTlab Symposium! I am looking forward to an interesting discussion of Dr. Coward’s texts. My first point refers to the delimitation of urbicide from other concepts/reasons of violence against urban areas. Or to formulate it as a question: How do I know a case of urbicide when I see one? Dr. Coward’s argument is based on the observation of certain actions or outcomes (“non-proportional widespread nature of targeting of the built environment” or raids against the depopulated city of Grozny) as indicators for urbicide. What seems to be lacking, however, is the consideration of motives of involved actors. How can I make sure that the large-scale destruction of a certain urban area, which appears to be non-proportional, does not serve a controlling, coercive, or other purpose? To stick to the quoted example of Grozny: Was the large-scale destruction of the city not intended to decrease Russian casualties by destroying urban environments that could have been used to entangle Russian forces in house-to-house fighting and provided cover for snipers as well as by “clearing” areas contaminated with explosives?

Hence, my argument would be that the identification of a case of urbicide would presuppose the exclusion and therefore investigation of other motives for the destruction of an urban area. Maybe this point has already been addressed in Dr. Coward’s book. If that is the case, I apologize for the redundancy.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>