Chapter

Violent Urbanization and Homogenization of Space and Place: Reconstructing the Story of Sectarian Violence in Beirut

Nasser Yassin

in Urbanization and Development

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199590148
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595493 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199590148.003.0011

Series: WIDER Studies in Development Economics

Violent Urbanization and Homogenization of Space and Place: Reconstructing the Story of Sectarian Violence in Beirut

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This chapter aims at understanding the dynamics of sectarian violence in Beirut in the early phase of the Lebanese civil war (1975–〈N〉7) and the process of dividing the city into various sectarian enclaves. The chapter examines the ways in which political actors used sectarian violence as a mechanism of social, political, and territorial control. The chapter views the city not only as a backdrop for conflict and violence, but also as an actual target. The objectives of the chapter are threefold. First, it shows how sectarian violence was not random but was, rather, a product of a lengthy process of calculation and planning. Second, it shows the measures and practices that were employed by militias to consolidate the full control of territory and entailed the homogenization of space and place. Third, it looks at the centrality of homogenization of space and place in the course of waging sectarian violence.

Keywords: cities; urban conflict; Lebanon; urbanization; JEL classification; R51; Q34

Chapter.  5975 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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