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« Law, Ontology, Heterogeneity | Main | Of Heterogeneity, Species-Being and Ontological Foundations »

Reply to Waters: On Social Bonds

Tony, thanks for your comments, they are really interesting. The reference is also very helpful. I suspect you are right, this is something for later down the line. But I’d just note that in the book I discuss the spatial reconfiguration of Mostar. The destruction there aimed to establish dead zones between the various enclaves. For example the frontline area of the Bulevar Nardone Revolucije in Mostar was reduced to rubble to carve out a sense of separation between the communities. I think this is similar to the process you describe in which the loss of the built environment means that loss of the social relations constructed through it. The destruction of this area was designed to refocus social bonds and naturalise an idea of separateness.

I am not confident of saying anything regarding the reverse process. Cities are resilient of course, but I think that some form of rebuilding might be necessary to reconstitute social bonds. In this sense it is interesting that the WTC site was rebuilt as ‘ground zero’ – i.e., cleared and made into some sort of new edifice demonstrating the lack of the former towers. This may well have played part in constituting new bonds (as would have relocating workers from the WTC are of Manhattan to new buildings in the midtown area).

Thanks though for a very interesting provocation that I will have to puzzle over as I move forward.

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