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GEO 3050 Week 7 Bollens.docx

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GEOG 3050
Kate Parizeau

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Reading Week Seven Development and the City Bollens - Journal of Human Security page 36-49 Urban Human Security  Human security - advances a more people and individual centered notion of security than found in state centric concepts of national security. Broadens concept from one of freedom from agression to encompass social and econ aspects of living (freedom from want)  Cities and urban policiy makers are key participants -->dev of cities and urban services can produce harmful disruptions or create long term lanscape of econ disparity and marginalization  Now look at structural violence that create and maintain disadvantage --->woven into social econ and pol systems (unequal chances)  Urban policy interventions that stablise urban environment can engance: personal political economic, food and health and environmental security o Of special importance is community security: ability to derive a cultural identity and set of values from membership in a group  Special importance in cities prone to intense inter- communal conflict and violence refletcting ethnic or nationalist fractures  i.e Jerusalem, Belfast, Johannesburg, Nicosia, Montreal, Mumbai, Beirut, Baghdad etc (conflict and violence associated with ethnic or pol differences) Political control of these cities becomes contested -->can be viewed by at least one group as artificial or illegitimate Rapid urbanization and growth in informal settlements can strain governments capacity Important is whether ethnonationalist compostion of inmigrants and informal settlements reinforces or distrupts pre-existing ethnic composition Especialy when intentsify group sorting (groups may be racial, ethnic, relgiious etc) Forty percent of countries have more than 5 sizeable ethnic pops within borders , cities can be tinderboxes of ethnic exposion Criminal operations in shantytowns can exploit ethnic alliances to firther their ends even when ethnicity not historically salient, can emerge as identifier among weak state strength Ethnic conflic reaches greatest intensity at local scale where individuals and small groups interface with each other daily -->especially in big cities Immigrants and domestic migrants (of different ethnic origins than locals) compete for housing, employment etc Urban lens to view human security necessary b/c of growth of urban pops and inability of public authorities to handle the growth Urban human security threatened when states are: at war internationally, repressive domestically or lack capacity/willinness to protect public security and adress root issues of conflict Within specific geographical locations in urbn areas (i.e safe zones, refugee camps) that human security is violated or provided Cities Focal points for building peace after conflict and during transitions Urban Growth and Slums  Growth is changing challeneges facing human security o 2007 urbanized pop was 50% of worlds pop for first time  Cause for alarm -->growth happening in slums and informal settlements (1//3 of all urban dwellers live in slums) o Particularily in least dev countries  Megaslums -continuous belts of squatter and informal settlements at the periphery of major large cities o Located near cities like Bogota, Caracas, Johanessburg, Baghdad, Cape Town etc  Lack security of tenure, vulnerable to displacement and eviction by competing ethnic group leaders, the state and private enterpreneurs o Often supported by bulldozers and police presence o Disrupt urban life and inflame political and ethnic tensions o Because lack rights to the city, sanctioning of violent and illegal forced evictions as part of ethnic cleansing and land commercializattion campaigns  Slums appear unmanaged and ungoverned  UNHSP says slums arent just cause of pop explosion but are result of a failure of housing policies, laws and delivery systems as well as national and urban policies o Absence of the state in form of basic provision of infrastructure and shelter leads one to question whether ungverened informal city may be desirable to state -->way to control urbanization demands that is unable to meet  Helps contain alien populations, insulates a host culture/middle class and elites from undesirables, provides  Costs of detatching slums seems counterproductive -->criminal organizations will likely step in to impose law and order and offer econ survival opportunities  Disapearance of formal economy from urban areas is damaging o informal unprotected sector (unlike interthnic solidarily through unions and radical political parties) prone to ethnic and religious differences and sectarian violence  Because informal settlements exist and contenstable fronteirs of state control, state police action in slums may consist of more repressive actions than elsewhere Violence, Crime and Urban Conflict  Urban crime leads to feelings of insecurity, powerlesness incomprehension and abandonment and stigmatization -->fear and the rise of private security response, erosion of social mobility and community linkages and imposition of societal costs  Naturalization of violence -->become everyday part of life and survival o Urban squalor, pervasive drug culture, neoliberal transformation and increasing availability of firearms -- >appears only path of survival  Most direct way of combating urban crime is through strengthening formal justicaice and policing o Crime is a symptom though and consequences of root causes (exclusion, disadantage and dehumanization) -->must encompass comprehensive program to adress causes Causes of Violence and Instability  Three main models for explaning relationship between growth, inability to adapt to growth and violence/instability o Relative deprivation -econ frusturation and thwarted mobility expectations on the part of urban in-migrations, conspicuous consumtion by elites leads to propenssity to engage in radical political activity and violence o Cultural conflict and migrant normlessness - cultural conflict and disuption of past living habits and customs cause personal identity crisis on part of in-migrants, weakening traditional social controls on deviant behaviour o Social communication and competition -urban environmenta allows high levels of social commu
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