GaWC Research Bulletin 123

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City Wars or Cities of Peace:
(Re)Integrating the Urban into Conflict Resolution

B. Stanley

"In bombers named for girls, we burned
The cities we had learned about in school-
Till our lives wore out; our bodies lay among
The people we had killed and never seen.
[Randall Jarrell, 1914-1965, Poet]


Our theme for this conference has been war and the challenge it presents to communities. One of the key challenges is to secure the peace after the violence has ended - to mend war-torn societies; to deepen the post-conflict processes of conflict transformation; to prevent further violent or destructive conflicts; to build utopia where there has been dystopia.

In our era, new actors are now involved in conflict resolution and management at the global level. Before, under traditional diplomacy, the state was so pre-eminent that it appeared that there was only the state: Track I or maybe informal Track II dialogue among states were the norm. Now, however, regional organizations, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), ad hoc coalitions, business organizations, transnational corporations (TNCs), religious groups, professional conflict resolution associations, global civil society networks, worthy personages, are all involved in a full range of peace keeping, peace making, and peace building.1

Nowhere, however, is there talk about cities or about networks of cities linked into city-systems and what their contribution might be. The urban scale, as a site for or actor in the resolution of international social conflicts, ethnonational conflicts or inter-state war, is not considered. This black hole in the new conflict resolution field is a problem - it is a problem for four reasons. The first is that the urban/city scale is and long has been, the ontological heart of conflict. City wars and wars among cities is a 5,000 year history, dwarfing the 300 years clocked up by the modern territorial state. As analysts we cannot ignore the dynamics of war that surrounds the city. Urban warfare pervades our understanding of human history, our conceptualisations of the city, our military practices, and even our cultural representations of war.

A second reason to re-centre the city in our discussions of war and peace is that the city and "military operations in urban terrain" (MOUT) has re-emerged into strategic doctrine; and this centrality of cities to 21st century war fighting (from Grozney to Baghdad and Monrovia) cannot be ignored. Thus, just as we privilege MOUT, we should rethink the centrality of cities to peace making as well.

Thirdly, the city/urban scale, in the form of the "global city" of Saskia Sassen and John Friedmann, is re-emerging into political economy and onto the international relations agenda.2 Under globalisation, cities are part of what Susan Strange termed the "leaking away" of power from the territorial state, both above and below. Spatial political economy points our attention to the emergence of C² (command and control) over global capital within global cities, and the dramatic reorganization of power and the strategic territories that articulate it. We live in an urban world, with 1997 being a critical date when the world passed over the 50% urban mark. Urbanism sets the global cultural and ideological agenda; to ignore the urban scale is to miss much of the primary restructuring occurring in the global order.

Finally, we haven't done too well in dealing with conflict resolution globally. States have proved limited in their ability to move beyond conflict mitigation or conflict management, and are focused more on managing behaviour than in transforming the fundamentals or of adopting what John Burton termed a proventive paradigm. Conflict is endemic; zones of conflict like the Middle East have set into conflict systems; 30 million refugees worldwide flee violence while millions as internally displaced; structural violence is a daily occurrence for most of the world's urban population. States are not able to handle peace building alone, and they often seem to be part of the problem and not part of the solution.

Therefore, we cannot afford to ignore any scale or actor that may offer help in conflict resolution and anti-war. Kofi Anan recently called for a major study of the role of NGO's in conflict resolution as partners/contributors along with states to preventing war.3 It is in the same spirit that I make the case for (re)integrating the urban into our theory, analysis and praxis of peace making. When compared to the potentiality of global civil society, who knows what might be accomplished by cities, embedded in city systems, with their significantly greater wealth, power and legitimacy?


"Men of sense often learn from their enemies. It is from their foes, not their friends, that cities learn the lesson of building high walls and ships of war." [Aristophanes, 4th cent. BC]

A. Across the Longue Durée

City Wars dominate our thinking about conflict and of its trajectory throughout history. For over five thousand years, the urban has been a crucial component of war, and central to human conflict. The first written records come from Mesopotamia, emerging from the first developing city-system based around Ur, Uruk and Nippur, and refer to economic and diplomatic exchanges among these cities at the head of the Persian Gulf.4 The very pictorial representation of the word "city" in Sumerian is a wall, symbolizing protection from attack. For the ancient Iraqis, cities equalled society; the founding of the first city by the gods as recorded in the "Epic of Gilgamesh" was the "beginning of history".5 The first large scale organized violence was among cities of between 10,000 and 50,000 inhabitants, little more than 20 miles distant from each other, locked into a Mesopotamian city-system. Sargon the Great, the founder of the first territorial empire in 2,300 BC boasts of how he captured cities, the symbolic centres of the world order, and destroyed their walls.

Western civilization's narrative of itself tragically moves through city conflicts: Memphis vs. Assur; Babylon vs. Persepolis; Sparta vs. Athens; Rome vs. Carthage; Constantinople vs. Bursa; Samarkand vs. Moscow; Venice vs. Genoa; Amsterdam vs. London; London vs. Paris; London and Paris vs. Berlin; Moscow, London and Washington vs. Berlin, Tokyo and Rome; Washington vs. Moscow. Conflict and great cities shape our sense of crucial turning points in human history: the sacking of Troy (subject of a recent television movie); the trumpets at Jericho; the destruction of Jerusalem; the fall of Rome; the saving of Vienna; the rape of Nanking; the retreat from Moscow; the battle for Stalingrad; firebombing Dresden; the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; the fall of Saigon; humiliation in Mogadishu; the tragedy of 9/11; the capture of Baghdad.

It is true not just for the West, but across the globe: the fall of Zimbabwe; the capture of Tenochtitlan (Mexico City); the capture of Beijing by the Mongols; the fall of Angkor Wat; the battle for Hue; the fall of Saigon; the battle of Algiers; the massacre at Amritsar; Gordon's defeat at Khartoum; the fall of Constantinople. Iranians remember the "war of the cities" between Baghdad and Tehran; artists draw murals of the destruction of cities and they get hung in the UN (and then covered up when a Sec. of State might be embarrassed by the reference). Time begins with the taking of cities: Year Zero starts with the capture of Phnom Penh or the hijrah to Medina; the establishment of capitals marks imperial beginnings.

The conquerors who dominate our history books are those who captured cities, built skulls of the bones of their defenders, allowed the women to be raped, exiled the artisans and destroyed the very foundations of community: Alexander; Julius Caesar; Genghis Khan; Tamerlane; Pizzaro; Napoleon. City-systems are the focus of our plays, tragedies and operas: the Greek city-states; the Philistine cities; the Hanseatic League; the Phoenicians; the Italian city-states. In 2003, the most popular on-line gaming is wars among fictitious cities.

I don't need to belabour the point: human history is dominated by conflict among cities and systems of cities: This makes fundamental sense: cities are the natural sites of control; the nexus for networks of exchange, transport and communications that create wealth and power; cities are by their very nature excess-creating machines. They are symbolic of power. The very word for city comes from the recognition of the power of citizens to come together to create a community. The city IS civilization, is structure, and is opulence in the human imagination, the centre and source of authority and legitimacy. They have served as the sites for religious identity, the sites for bureaucracy and the division of labour, the place for the production and accumulation of luxury and wealth, the centre of culture and creativity, the locus for collective identity and community; the site for security and insecurity.6 Thus the cities of the "other" must be destroyed to symbolically and practically dominate them. Controlling city-systems are the key to winning a conflict and the demonstration that power has changed. Monrovia changed hands three times in 20 days of fighting for control of Liberia during the summer of 2003. As one US military advisor said recently, cities are important because "that's where they keep the people."7 Millennia earlier, Sun Tzu, in the Art of War, stressed the centrality of cities while valorising diplomacy, when he said:

"Therefore the skilful leader subdues the enemy's troops without any fighting; he captures their cities without laying siege to them; he overthrows their kingdom without lengthy operations in the field."

B. Renewed Centrality to Strategic Doctrine

But it is not just the fundamentals of the longue durée of Braudel8 that drive this argument, but current developments of the post 1970's world order. Our world is not just historically fixated on cities: the urban has re-emerged as a crucial level of analysis for understanding conflict in our current world order as well. There are numerous indications of this centrality. One of the most significant is that the US military now strategically envisions the future of war as "military operations in urbanized terrain (MOUT)"9. Over the last few years a whole Urban Operations Doctrine has been developed, and it received a good test in the Baghdad-centred city-system. The Marine Corp has conducted numerous simulations and experiments in urban terrain, and has developed projects over the last 10 years to evolve appropriate night fighting and communication technologies for conducting urban warfare. The case studies that drive this shift in strategic doctrine include Mogadishu, Belfast, East Timor, Stalingrad, Berlin, Beirut, Grozney, Saigon and Hue; Los Angeles Riots; Bogotá. At a recent conference on "Preparing for Urban Operations in the 21st Century", Dr. Jim Miller, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for the US, argued "the historical record is clear. Built-up areas have been central to conflict since the time cities were created. The control of cities has been central to success in conflict."10

Likewise, a range of new technologies has been developed to win conflicts in urban terrain. For example, there was substantial discussion about a new type of weapon that could have been tested in the Iraq conflict, called electronic pulse munitions or "directed energy weapons" (DEW) which are intended to destroy electronic command circuits and computers throughout cities. The US/UK did test new technologies and tactics for urban conflict in Basra, al-Nasiriyah, Karbala and Baghdad.

Significantly, the link between cities, terrorism and resistance has become clearer since 11 September. Cities are vulnerable, and the risk profile complex.11 Moscow is as vulnerable as Tel Aviv or Casablanca. Cities are the sites of attack; sites for organizing attacks; the points of defence and protection; and the place to mobilize support for ideological positions. In response to 11 September, the US has employed basic urban strategies: remove urban sites for organizing; and organize defence within US cities through the Homeland Security structure. As a result, for the first time since the height of the Cold War, "issues surrounding international, military and geopolitical security now penetrate utterly into practices surrounding the governance, design and planning of cities and urban regions."12

Crucially, numerous issues come together in cities when considering the interconnectedness of urban violence with war. When assessing its evolving mission in relation to cities, for example, the US military has developed, from their case list, a set of responsibilities that is broader than just a combat role:

  • destroy key targets (Baghdad, Belgrade)
  • peacekeeping (Mitrovica)
  • capture a city (Kuwait City, Grozny)
  • defend a city (Seoul, Srebrenica)
  • humanitarian assistance (Port-au-Prince)
  • point defence (ports/airfields, embassies; humanitarian distribution sites)
  • point offence (WMD sites, rescues)
  • civil support (LA riots, Olympics, Seattle and Genoa)13

Certainly the coalition soldiers on duty guarding the Baghdad Museum would have something to say about the multiplicity of roles they have taken on in the city environment.14

C. New Centrality in International Relations and Political Economy

Beyond war, it is important to realize that the global political economy and the development of the world system are pushing us to reintegrate the urban into our understanding of the full range of global processes, including conflict. In 1997 the world past the 50% urbanization mark, becoming an "urban world" and making urbanisation a key feature of global transformation.15 The dynamics of urbanization are clearly derived from the forces of globalisation and the evolution of global capital, and future global development depends on understanding the interconnectedness of the economics of urbanization, urban growth and the globalized urban economy.16 The issues of development, of resistance to globalisation, questions of justice and the international division of labour also take place in cities and depend on city-systems, and cities are sites for these developments, as well as actors with agency embedded in networks of exchange. Cities embedded in networks have always been the backcloth or armature for regional and global economic development: what is different today is the "intensity, complexity and global span of these networks...and the number of cities that are part of cross-border networks operating at vast geographic scales."17 Cities and city-systems are back on the global political economy agenda, and are central to reimagining the dynamics of the emergent world system.

D. The City-centric Logic of the Third Gulf War

The US-led attack on Iraq can perhaps be best understood not as a war among states, but as a war among city-systems: a battle between Washington/London (and their city-systems in a "coalition of the willing") and Baghdad's system of cities. The war was fought to change how Baghdad's city-system was controlled; how the economic resources it accessed were distributed; and to manage the imagined political risk this specific city-system represented for the region and for the world. The future of the Persian Gulf city-system, with the Baghdad city-system as a key sub-element, was central to the calculation.

Wherever we look, the city-level aspects of the war against the regime in Baghdad are clear:

  • US troops trained in a mock-up of Baghdad in the swamps of Louisiana. Mock cities used for training also exist on Guam, and in southern California.18
  • US strategy was presented as "shock and awe" and city capture, to cut Baghdad off from the rest of its city-system in Mosul, Kirkuk, Najaf, Karbala, Basra, Umm al-Qasr militarily, economically, electrically, in terms of communication or transport, and then "contain" and "takeout" the leadership. Baghdad was presented as the ultimate problem, the place where civilian casualties could be greatest, and where Iraqi resistance was expected to be strongest. The Iraqis propagandists made plain their determination to make every inch of Baghdad a killing zone for American soldiers, with mines, tunnels, barricades, protected media broadcast sites, non-conventional weapons and suicide attacks.19
  • The dynamics of coalition occupation of the archipelago of cities since the end of the war has consistently demonstrated the centrality of cities to the success or failure of the American-led project. It has also demonstrated the connectedness of the city-system that has been captured. Certainly many analysts feel that Karbala, as the centre of the Shi'i power base, is the key to Baghdad, while General Petraeus, the US Army Maj. General in charge of Mosul, has argued that building a good model of local government in Mosul is crucial to demonstrating what is possible with local government.20
  • Coalition troops continue to experience difficulty in managing the key cities under occupation, whether to protect their infrastructure, to control armed resistance, or to establish municipal institutions of governance.
  • American archaeologists voiced concern that the US bombing campaign and military incursion could destroy valuable world heritage sites. For example, an attack on Mosul (Nineveh) threatened to destroy the throne room of Sennacherib (705 - 681 BC) who ordered the invasion of Jerusalem. The subsequent looting of the National Museum of its treasures of urban history only deepens the irony of the significant urban cultural implications of the conflict.
  • Estimates of the domestic cost of the war were articulated at the urban scale: one set of figures suggested that the inhabitants of New Salem, MA, for example, would have to cover the costs of a war in Iraq of around $320,000 with federal income taxes, while Orange, MA would cover $2.14m and West Springfield $9.05m.21
  • The National Fire Protection Association, in a recent study, found that only 11% of the US' fire departments were prepared to eal with the collapse of large buildings. In smaller cities throughout the country, the new focus on preparedness for terrorism falls on city budgets and city employees, but promised federal funds of £3.5b have yet to be approved. In addition, many cities are unprepared, believing that it will not happen to them. The situation of budgets and training at the urban level is grave. Los Angeles, for example, with its more than 88 independent jurisdictions still does not have compatible radio frequencies.
  • Port security, again a city-level issue, is poorly patrolled. Only 2% of all containers entering the US are inspected.22
  • On 2 April 2003, it was reported that there is now a permanent early-warning radar shield above NYC to deal with possible airplane attack: all planes deviating from their filed flight plans will be escorted out of the area or shot down.

Certainly the recent history of conflict in the Persian Gulf should lead us to the conclusion that cities are at the centre of regional struggle: the first Gulf War (1980 - 1988) between Iraq and Iran began with the battle for Abadan, Ahvaz and Khorramshahr. These cities continue to be scarred by the destruction of twenty years ago. In its later trajectory, the first Gulf War expanded into another version of the "war of the cities" with missile strikes and air raids on each other's population centres. In the second Gulf War (1991), Saddam attempted to expand the war by striking at Israeli cities, and Kuwait City was looted during the Iraqi withdrawal.

In the broader Middle East, the Israelis are reassessing their strategic doctrine in light of the April 2002 events in Jenin23. Israelis now say that the lessons they have learned in the second intifada, for example in how to deal with suicide bombings, suggest that they must now place increased reliance on "special forces, sniper squads, pre-emptive assassinations (what the Israeli military calls pin-point preventive acts) and enhanced intelligence tactics."24 They also foresee an expanded role for military engineers in mine clearing and bulldozing within urban terrain. Other Middle East battles and conflicts that are being studied by Palestinians and Israelis alike include the Siege of Beirut during 1982; the taking of Jerusalem in 1967 or the fighting for the city in 1948; street-to-street fighting in Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War; the house-to-house fighting in Gaza that occurred in early 2003; or the fight for Mogadishu.25 Such examples remain in the popular imagination and prominent in the thinking of military planners.26

In sum, human history tells us that cities must be taken, controlled, dominated, as the key sites of "the other's" identity and power. This is the core of conflict, where spatially-grounded networks meets human will. When Tamerlane took Baghdad 600 years ago, he massacred 20,000 of the city's defenders and piled their skulls outside the city, allowed the city's women to be raped, and exiled the artisan community to Samarkand. The city still bears the scars of this destruction in its built environment and historical narrative. City wars are not new for the Baghdad'i city system; and the destruction of cities in the Persian Gulf is a 5,000-year-old human activity. City wars are fundamental to human conflict, creating a dystopia of chaos and disorder.


"I have many times asked myself whether there can be more potent advocates of peace upon earth through the years to come than this massed multitude of silent witnesses to the desolation of war." [George V at Flanders, 1922, quoted in "Silent Cities" ed. Gavin Stamp]

Despite 5,000 years of centrality to conflict, however, cities have virtually been ignored in the academic literature on conflict resolution or anti-war.27 Conventional wisdom holds that cities lack agency, are not autonomous, are not linked into networks crucial for transformation, are "off the map." Over the last 20 years, as the sub-field of conflict resolution has evolved, no focused discussion has occurred about the urban level, and the contribution or role it plays in the process.28 Likewise, in the discussions about the future of the Persian Gulf, little has been said about the role of the urban scale in creating a new order.

This lack of direct attention, however, does not mean that cities are neither sites for conflict resolution nor agents themselves at scales beyond their walls. In fact, under close examination, there are a range of issues and praxis where conflict resolution dynamics can be identified. In the war against the Baghdadi city-system, for example, we see that cities and city-systems were deeply involved in attempts at peacemaking and peace building. Two examples are illustrative:

  • The US national organization, Cities for Peace, worked in the lead up to the war to get city governments throughout the country to pass resolutions imploring Pres. Bush to avoid the confrontation with Iraq. From Woodstock, NY to Chicago, Philadelphia and Detroit, over 70 cities passed resolutions for peace. Together, such examples of municipal foreign policy represent over 13m people.29
  • A global city-network linking over 300 cities emerged when they were all jointly involved in the largest coordinated anti-war protest in history; employing internet and activist networks, millions of people were mobilized to globally marched in cities around the world on 15 February to protest the war.

Beyond examples linked to the recent war, it is crucial to understand that cities and city systems have long been involved as sites or agents for resolving conflict and peace building. A sample of recent praxis suggests the range of projects and activity:

  • The League of California Cities is supporting and distributing materials on conflict resolution and community dispute resolution to its member cities.30
  • The Economic Growth and Innovation in Multicultural Environments organization in Europe has sponsored numerous conferences on the social dynamics and conflicts in multicultural cities. In particular, the issues of cultural diversity and conflict in multicultural cities is now on the international municipal agenda.31
  • The Virginia Association for Community Conflict Resolution links community mediation centres throughout Virginia into a city-system in order to share ideas and projects in order to reduce community violence, and to provide training.32
  • The US government is using the Centre for Peacemaking and Conflict Studies at Fresno/Pacific University to train city managers and bureaucrats in Refugee Conflict Management.33
  • Cities are cooperating more closely than ever in global networks to find solutions to shared problems of crime, drugs, unemployment, illegal migration and conflict. The World Sustainable Cities Consortium, for example, is an "open network supporting local innovation and collaborative problem solving. There are currently over 40 regional or international networks of cities, municipalities and urban bureaucrats.34
  • Global Cities 21 has intentionally focused on building city capacity for conflict resolution within and among cities.35
  • Cuba/US Sister City Projects is a grass-roots organization seeking to span the political gulf in the Caribbean.36
  • In order to emphasize the waste and potential damage of nuclear conflict, the Natural Resources Defense Council has published its own analysis of the consequences of nuclear war in South Asia. One scenario they ran involves 10 nuclear weapons striking 10 South Asian cities with an estimate of 2.8 m dead and 5m injured. Another scenario of 24 ground bursts yielded an estimate of 22 m people exposed to lethal radiation.37
  • When the earthquake hit Istanbul in August 1999, the Mayor of Athens went to Istanbul with a rescue team. The next month, when an earthquake hit Athens, the Mayor of Istanbul paid a reciprocal visit to Athens. The Mayor of Athens argued that democracy should be based on citizens, not nation states because "it is the citizens who are the victims of our tragedies."38
  • Irish, UK and Northern Irish communities have long worked to build city-level linkages to facilitate dialogue and peace building.39
  • Cities of Peace in NYC works to help urban teenagers develop cross-cultural relationships, conflict reduction, and leadership skills.40
  • The University of Arizona's Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology has a new international program on Governance and Conflict Resolution, offering cities services, training and guidance for integrating conflict resolution into development planning and evaluation.41
  • The Western Justice Centre, in Southern California, has a major program on Resolving Intergovernmental Conflict, in association with the Southern California Association of Governments and a network of conflict Resolution NGOs called the Public Sector Dispute Resolution Consortium. The WJC is testing various dispute settlement systems for the problems of overlapping city and jurisdictional problems in Southern California.42
  • The US Department of Housing and Urban Development, in association with the Friends of the UN, have developed a "Peacemaker Corps" to bring local action/community groups together to teach youth leaders the necessary skills for conflict resolution, mediation, youth violence prevention and tolerance. It is based around a city-system across the US, and hopes to expand its certification of "Peacemakers" globally.43
  • The "community policing" concept as tried in cities like Worcester, MA involves conflict resolution as part of a package to enhance community involvement, conflict management, and crime prevention.44
  • The Municipal Development Partnership, in its planning for the "Africities 3" conference scheduled for the last quarter of 2003 in Yaoundé, has announced special sessions on the prevention of conflicts and enhancing city-system communication.45
  • The UNDP Local Governance project uses small grants under its Local Initiative Facility for Urban Environment (LIFE) programme to strengthen participatory local governance and capacity development across 12 developing countries for dealing with governance and conflict issues.46
  • Sister Cities International issued a press release in response to 11 September 2001's events, stating that it remained committed to "creating a more peaceful world through specific sister city projects and programs that build bridges of international understanding." By drawing together its 675 communities in the US, linked in partnership with 1,454 communites in 121 countries, SCI hoped to achieve the specific goal of "Sister Cities United for International Peace and Friendship."47
  • Over 180 cities across the US have declared themselves Civil Liberties Safe Zones and are resisting the Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Act. The cities are networking on techniques of resistance and working to role back aspects of these bills.48
  • A triadic network among Lyon (France), Montreal (Canada) and Santiago (Chile) since the early 1990's has facilitated cooperation on urban social development, including issues such as micro-economic development, citizen participation in politics, social exclusion, "illegal cities" and city planning. Each city contributes ideas and experiences, and they have instituted some common strategies to the problem of exclusion.49 In summarizing the results of such links, it was argued that "links contribute not only to development but also to global understanding and peace. The role which links can play...should be according those links whose agendas are essentially paralleling the goals of the UN Charter itself with recognition as "United Nations links"....and being accredited in a similar way to those accorded to INGOs in relation to the General Assembly or ECOSOC.50
  • The International Union of Architects and the Order of Engineers and Architects (Beirut) organized an international conference in Beirut in November 1997 to consider Reconstruction of War-torn Cities. A new trend in urban planning programs such as those at University of York or Cambridge University is to consider the ways in which the built environment contributes to conflict development or post-conflict reconciliation.51
  • The concept of "city-to-city" cooperation, or "decentralized cooperation" has taken off in the UN arena as a key way to build direct exchange among local authorities that is often technical. The object is to build and share expertise on a given theme, geographical sector or specific sector among a network of cities. As part of this push, in 1999 the World Association of Cities and Local Authorities Coordination (WACLAC), along with the UN Commission on Human Settlements, created a Consultative Committee of Local Authorities at the UN (UNACLA). Habitat II+5 took up the issue of city-to-city cooperation in 2001, calling for a new partnership between associations of local authorities and the UN. To date, conflict management across borders has not been discussed, although the framework for and recognition of the importance of "reintegrating" cities into global institutions and debate is very much alive.52
  • The first international association of local authorities was established in 1913 "principally for the purpose of general information exchange and mutual support, and a small number of direct city-to-city links were established." It was in the wake of the carnage of WWII, however, that a dramatic increase in direct city-to-city linkages evolved, initially, as expected, within destroyed Europe.53
  • The merger of the FMCU-UTO (World Federation of United Cities) and the International Union of Local Authorities (IULA) is scheduled for May 2004. This merger will create "United Cities and Local Governments", the largest generalist world organization of local authorities. Of particular concern to the new organization will be facilitating an international role for local authorities, building sustainable urban development, and strengthening local democracy and decentralization.54
  • The Union of Local Authorities of Israel (ULAI) and the Association of Palestinian Local Authorities (APLA) signed a declaration of co-operation in 1999 at the IULA's World Congress. Since then, the two organizations have met, under the auspices and with the support of the FMCU and IULA to explore possibilities of dialogue and ways of making progress towards peace through local-to-local cooperation. The FMCU-UTO and the IULA have expressed concern about the repercussions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and planned to hold two conferences during 2003 to build "synergies" between the local authorities.55
  • In 1998, the citizens of the city of Mogotes in Columbia developed "local-level strategies for public participation in ending violence and creating a new political culture" in their city. Their model for creating a "zone of peace" through a Municipal Constituent Assembly has become a global model for communities torn apart by regional violence. The people of Mogotes evolved a "project of liberation" involving sustainable development as an attack on poverty; a strategy to build a "community of peace" and reduce violence; and a commitment to root out corruption via people power and local sovereignty. The local work is supported by a network of "peace working groups" in surrounding cities, and has been called the "laboratory of peace" for other communities within violence-torn Columbia. The city was awarded the first National Peace Prize in 1999. There are now over 100 "zones of peace" throughout the country working together as a cities-of-peace network as people seek to build their own local peace within a divided country.56

As the examples above illustrate, agency at the community and city-based scale does exist, and it is not just directed at so-called local conflicts: there is awareness by local communities that the urban is a crucial contributor to transnational/global conflict transformation as well. City-networks are struggling to overcome division and separation in cross-border contexts; both between states and within broader geographic regions.

Municipal foreign policy across a range of issues central to conflict resolution is not new. Four themes or issue areas where cities have expressed dissident foreign policy during the last twenty five years are in promoting peaceful relations among peoples; in creating the conditions for peace building through sustainable development for all; in standing for environmental protection; and in affirming human rights and global protection. The municipal "nuclear free-zone" movement which began in Japan during the 1950's and culminated in the 1980's with 3,000 authorities in 17 countries declaring their territories off-limits to the manufacture, storage or transport of nuclear weapons, is an example of the desire of municipal leaders to deny the descent into nuclear terror as the preferred strategy for settling human conflicts.57 The "sanctuary movement", which linked 29 sanctuary cities in the US into a resistance city-network exchanging ideas, techniques and support, affirmed the human rights of refugees to protection during conditions of conflict and repression as well as had much to say about the right to economic development for all.58 And the move to "healthy cities", as represented by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, the intermunicipal Stratospheric Protection Accord and the 1990 World Congress of Local Governments for a Sustainable Future, all affirmed a strong responsibility felt by municipal leaders to act globally to protect local environmental conditions under conditions where national governments were abrogating their responsibilities.59

Our knowledge of the full range of actions taken by municipalities and actors on conflict transformation is limited, since our lack of understanding and awareness of this scale has blinded us to collecting data about ongoing praxis and interventions. We just do not really know the full extent of agency taking place globally by cities, either unilaterally or multilaterally, to deal with such issues. But the limited number of examples citied above remind us that: city elites do understand the links between the global and the local; they are willing to act; and that they may be able to carve out a niche for themselves in terms of policy and praxis. Certainly the full range of issues subsumed under a broad construction of conflict resolution60 are considered to be within their remit: healing cross-cultural divisions; building civitas and democracy; peace building through sustainable development; halting destructive environmental policies which sow the seeds for future conflict; denying the use of social resources for destructive confrontational strategies; building bridges of dialogue where they do not exist; creating the political space for dialogue and creative contestation; empowering disadvantaged communities within the political space; empowering the rule of law.


There is a black hole in the peacemaking literature when it comes to cities and to the urban scale. Search any of the major types of literature concerning conflict resolution: textbooks; the extensive websites; the electronic journals; the training workbooks used by the INGOs; curriculum packages developed to teach peace building; or the conflict analysis frameworks for mapping and strategic intervention. No matter where you look, you will not find the word "cities" or "urban" employed. There is a wealth of state-centric material, some references to community-based approaches, nascent work on corporations, a growing reference to the contributions of non-governmental organizations61, and a few references to the contribution of regional organizations, but nothing about cities or city-systems.

However, no matter where you look, the substantive arguments about what is required for conflict resolution, about the dynamics of conflict transformation, about the praxis of peace making, all actually link very clearly to the urban scale, and cry out for agency at the urban level. Take for example the work of The Carnegie Commission on Preventing Conflict. Their major 1999 report recommended numerous ways to prevent conflict. At one point, the authors argue that:

"associations of communities built around substantial commonality of interest and values could have useful leverage and it would be advantageous wherever practicable to systematize even perhaps make in some degree routine and automatic, their monitoring of conflict threatening features."62

As a practical manifestation of this recommendation, the Commission suggested empowering the OSCE to take on the role of social monitoring. Yet the OSCE is a collection of states, not communities as sites where people live. It would appear more appropriate to the spirit of the recommendation to enhance the city-system arm of regional organizations. There are already numerous transnational municipal organizations at the regional and global level.63 Some of the most interesting are Metropolis (World Association of the Major Metropolises), WACLAC (World Associations of Cities and Local Authorities Coordination), Eurocities, SUMMIT (Summit Conference of Major Cities of the World), CEMR (Council of European Municipalities and Regions), and Sister Cities International. Such municipal networks have moved a range of issues onto the international, regional or national agenda; a number of them have intentionally taken on peace issues.

The Carnegie Commission on Preventing Conflict also suggested that conflict transformation requires a balance of coercion and reassurance, carrots and sticks, to move actors toward transformation. Although they were talking about states and IGOs, city-systems should be considered here as well. Certainly city-systems cannot currently provide the violence aspect of the coercion component, although they have played this role numerous times over the past 5,000 years. However, it is in the arena of the reassurance aspects, establishing positive remedial action and opportunities for early awareness, useable early warning, and early action, that city-systems might make an important contribution.

In its conclusion, the Carnegie Commission argued for a realization that traditional diplomacy is no longer enough in the 21st century world order; we need a change of paradigm, one that places strategic emphasis on early warning and early response64. I would argue that part of that paradigmatic shift, taking on more of Burton's provention concept65, or that of Luc Reychler and his ideas of field diplomacy66, gets us away from seeing the state as the only legitimate actor in conflict resolution. Developed as another part of the toolbox available to us, city system intervention may be able to make key contributions to conflict resolution at the regional level.

In a recent well-received textbook in the field, Miall, Ramsbotham and Woodhouse present an overview of contemporary conflict resolution.67 Fundamental to their argument is that the range of organizations and individuals that are involved in conflict resolution, particularly since the "fixed structures of sovereignty and governance" are breaking down, is expanding.68 The stress in the book is on the "three main types of agent(s) (which) now play an enhanced role in the resolution of contemporary conflict: the UN, regional organizations and NGOs." 69 Cities or city systems are never mentioned.

One message of the book is that "the practice of conflict resolution has expanded and evolved...(and it now is clear that) the developing discipline of conflict resolution has something to contribute" across all arenas of conflict. 70 Miall et. al. suggest that the practice of conflict resolution works to prevent "violent conflict before it has broken out"; to act in "war zones to mitigate and limit violent conflict while it is raging"; and to bring "violent conflict to a sustainable end with a view to long-term reconciliation and peace building."

Prevention, they argue, involves intervention soon after conflict situations have appeared, hopefully before attitudes and behaviour become embedded or locked into spirals or escalation. It also involves what Kenneth Boulding termed early warning conflict "data stations". In both these roles, cities formed into a network of regional cities might work both on the deeper or long term aspects of prevention through a focus on latent or emergent conflicts that are just beginning to enter the radar screen. States are either too slow to sense the appearance of conflict, or are too fast to categorize and polarize a conflict into zero-sum terms. Cities tasked with reading the local issues, with watching in a city-centric collective security arrangement for changes which could threaten the collective social welfare, for reacting quickly, may be more efficient and have an earlier time frame for highlighting issues and dealing with them creatively. Socially, city-systems might be more sensitive to a wider range of conflicts which were emergent; secondly, they could be better at "monitoring and appraising" progress; finally, they may have a chance to be listened to at more macro scales in ways that might elude NGOs.71

John Paul Lederach, in a 1995 article entitled "Conflict Transformation in Protracted Internal Conflicts: the Case for a Comprehensive Framework" concludes that, among other requirements for conflict transformation, it is crucial to build a peace constituency. In order to do this, he says, "indigenous empowerment" is central.72 Although he does not mention it, the urban scale appears to offer a privileged level on which to do this, and an "appropriate" scale for indigenous empowerment. Likewise, when Lederach suggests that conflict transformation requires the establishment of an infrastructure for peace, the potential of a city network, committed to regional, transboundary action on peacemaking, comes to mind.

The Searching for Peace project of the European Centre for Conflict Prevention has published their findings as they seek to understand conflict prevention and peace building initiatives that are actually occurring in Asia and the Pacific. The goal of the project is to "facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experience between organizations and to identify the main actors, experts, publications and events" actually occurring regionally. There is no mention of the urban scale in the most recent product of the project.73 In one study on the Ferghana Valley in Central Asia, however, every recommendation points to the need for work at the urban scale. In his chapter, the author says that the three states which come together in the Ferghana Valley have a poor track record of official conflict management, since they have little trust of each other, and a strong state-sovereignty paradigm to the limits of state-centric conflict resolution. However, outside donors have begun projects that appear to promise long-term conflict prevention in the valley. The UNDP Ferghana Valley Development Program, for example, is built around a regional program "focusing on issues dealing with growth and sustainable development." The five programmatic themes, such as job creation and income generation, or revival of a common cultural heritage in the region, all depended on building cross-border partnerships in the valley among NGOs and other civil-society organizations. Linking the cities in the valley into a city-system in addition, or as a component of the program never appears to have been considered. Yet it is via cities as sites and agents that all the recommendations will be realized.

Mary Anderson, in the significant book "Do No Harm", suggests that the links between the international and the local, when it comes to aid, distribution, agency and conflict are significant: there is a link between the "micro level of warfare (and peacefare)...and the macro level" she argues.74 Crucial links are those "connectors" which bridge gaps between warring factions; and the sites where "people maintain overt contact and connections across fighting lines... [or where] people stay connected in less obvious ways."75Aid has an impact on warfare, but it is possible to limit that impact: through thoughtful choices of scale, cases, change in attitude and building awareness.76 A city-aware strategy to build such connections and to distribute aid, would fit well with Anderson's suggestions.

M. Stiefel, in reporting on the War-torn Societies Project (1999), stressed the developmental challenges that emerge from the special circumstances of war-torn societies. In particular, they need long-term peace building through development of "local solutions and responses" that delegate authority and thus promote local ownership. They also need to build collaboration between the state, civil society and the market through capacity building.77 Western development agencies often advocate external institutions to carry out this process; or they suggest building local NGOs. From a developmental perspective, this may actually be an opportunity for local municipal authority, which meshes local linkages with authority and market components, thus providing greater institutional power for social transformation than NGOs.

A similar finding emerges from the "Brahimi Report", the report of the UN Secretary-General's Panel on UN Peace Operations convened in March 2000. Given the report's stress on the development of a new mindset, one focused on the prevention of conflict through local development cooperation, a key role for cities in conflict resolution, although not mentioned, can be postulated. The report stresses the need for greater help to local partners; flexible economic development; early warning on the ground; and effective disarmament demobilization and reintegration of former combatants (DDR). Such tasks for conflict resolution require "constructing a strategy to prevent conflict" through building a healthy governance system, assuring a degree of political and economic equity, environmental sustainability, respect of cultures, and free participation in the political space.78

As exemplified by this small sample, the conflict resolution literature is replete with suggestions and recommendations for ways of transforming conflict - what they lack is a city-level scale as part of the mix of sites and actors. The key messages contained across this literature -- local participation; new institutional arrangements outside the state-centric approach; early warning; peace building through sustainable development; empowerment of marginalized populations; greater legitimacy locally, regionally and internationally; new networking links globally--are all possible roles for cities and city-systems.


"If municipalities can twin, triple etc. across state borders, and join together adopting municipalities in war-torn societies, why couldn't they also have their diplomatic networks? Gathering information? Extending recognition? And even plan a strictly non-military defense? The sky is the limit." [Johan Galtung]79

What can city systems offer, for example, in zones of conflict like the Persian Gulf, for example? Eastern Europe? West Africa? The Levant? Central Asia? How can cities carve out municipal foreign policies to link their communities with the transnational or translocal dynamics of peacemaking? Cities and city-systems certainly appear to be crucial for underpinning the success of the new regionalism and to building democratic peace. What about as a tool for economic development regionally? What about early warning? What about post conflict peace building?

The potential of cities and city-systems is heightened by the following characteristics of cities and city-systems:

  1. They are already sites for and actors in conflict resolution, and thus contain a wealth of experience. Most of this experience and best practice concerns local conflicts, but there is little analytical problem to jumping scales. Conflict resolution has already culled the "domestic" arena for insights useful at the global level80; we must do the same with the wealth of experience embedded within cities over the longue durée and across the globe.81Most of what we term "domestic level" conflict resolution praxis actually takes place in and through the urban anyway, thus we need to privilege it and mine its depths. The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) movement, for example, has its home in cities, its major institutions are in New York City and Rochester, and its networks link dispute resolution centres in major cities around the world.82 Community dispute resolution experiences are predominantly urban, as is peace building capability enhancement of communities. What we lack is data on this range of experience, and clearing houses for accessing it in order to share its insights.
  2. Cities and city-systems offer ready-made linkages and networks that are transboundary and translocal. If we look at the ME prior to 1920, or the Gulf as it actually operates today, city networks were and are the engines for development; nodes in the flows of people, money, security, culture, ideas; the points of contact for infrastructure and transport. We must build on these mutual dependencies and linkages. Whether it is the Hormuz Growth Corridor, the Fergana Valley with the UNDP project, the new Silk Road coalition or the 1994-1996 potential for a political economy of peace between Israel, Palestinians and Arab states, here are existing economic, social or infrastructural networks to which direct conflict resolution activities can be attached and supplemented. In other sectors and human endeavours we utilize and depended upon these backcloths of city networks; why not for explicit conflict resolution activity?
  3. Cities are close to the people, and they are where the local meets the global. Issues of democracy, citizenship, identity, welfare, security, empowerment, innovation, tolerance, expanding civil society all are actually worked out in cities - cities are where abstract policies hit the highway and bargains are negotiated. They are also the sites for resistance, reterritorialization, unrest and mobilization. Cities are thus the scale where actual work is done. Cities daily facilitate connections or bridges among factions and citizens in conflict. They bring people together and open up dialogue. New literature on citizenship issues and on restoring the city in thought as a space of politics may be relevant here.83 Cities are sites for radicalised rebuilding of trust and social justice. Their closeness and daily activities with the evolving needs of the people make them useful for direct conflict resolution. This is where Galtung's point about the capabilities of municipalities is useful: they are used to handling problems at the local level.4
  4. Cities are NOT states, stressing boundaries, divisions, territorial exclusivity, firm identity, and weapons. They do not speak with arms and violence, but with connections and linkages. Of course, cities long had a militaristic role and used their "state power" for violence, building armies and navies to shape their global designs. However, in the current world order, those roles have migrated "up the scale", freeing cities from the territorial bounded imperative and the weapons/violence link. Galtung argues that "local authorities generally do not possess arms. Arms are a state monopoly....Local authorities would be less inclined to see problems as military problems, and less concerned with 'speaking with one voice'.85 One needs to be careful with this argument, however, given the role of "the state monopoly of violence" exercised within cities and by city police in relation to minority or excluded communities. Cities are very clearly, among other roles, public agents of the state; in fact, this may be their primary role under state sovereignty. 86 However, it should be possible to privilage their "non-state" roles for peace making.
  5. Cities by their very nature can be more tolerant, pluralistic, flexible, creative, open, multicultural sites and actors than states. The modern territorial state advocates what Amin Maalouf calls "identities that kill" rather than contingent identity, always shifting under the weight of new opportunities and interaction.87 Cities represent a different type of ideal type of political space, citizenship, governance, polity. John Friedmann in his recent book on the Prospect of Cities, says they offer in an age of globalisation "insurgent citizenship" that is global, undermining the state sovereignty concept.88 They thus may be less threatening, more sensitive, more legitimate agents than nation states. Galtung suggests that "Municipalities are generally less pathological than states, not serving as depositories of national traumas and myths, such as the idea of being "chosen to be above everything else."89 Ashutosh Varshney, in studying "peaceful cities" in India, concludes that an integrated society, linked by ethnically integrated organizations, including business associations, trade unions, professional groups, political parties and sports clubs, are the most effective ways of controlling conflict.90 Cities represent a different approach to politics than do states, giving voice to the disempowered, the marginalized, those without voice. Thus urban scale agency may have a different ethos or tenor - the norms they represent are different. I like to imagine how different the dynamics of the Olympics would be if athletes carried their city flags rather than representing states: somewhat in the style of Sienna's horse race? What would the Levant be like if all the cities within 75 km of each other - Haifa, Tel Aviv, Beirut, Sidon, Damascus, Amman, Ramallah, Jerusalem worked together for the common good? In other words, there is legitimacy here due to representativeness that could be mobilised.
  6. States are fearful of dissident municipal foreign policy. Their elites fear the loss of control, the deterioration of a single clear position, the incipient challenge to state sovereignty that urban policies represent.91 This fear produces attack and policies to undermine city autonomy. Yet the record suggests that the most important limits to city agency in the realm of conflict resolution may actually be a lack of imagination and will rather than restrictions by states on urban praxis. If urban elites network and act, they may actually carve out regions of autonomy and influence currently unimagined.92
  7. Cities can carry out what Galtung calls "peace roles" in ways that other actors, particularly states and NGOs, cannot. Galtung identifies four such roles: acting before violence to provide early warning, local conflict resolution, good offices or creative problem solving; acting during violence to link with other municipalities experiencing suffering; hosting dissidents or refugees; reaching out in times of violence; after violence, to provide reconciliation, facilitation, sharing experiences; and finally working at the global/local level to facilitate dialogue, local non-military defense planning; or recognition of the disempowered, "local heroes" or strugglers for justice.93 A quick scan of Gene Sharp's list of non-violent techniques for change suggests many creative actions available to cities and city-systems looking to shape their global environment.94
  8. City networks within regional organizations working on regional and sub-regional conflict resolution may be one of the ways city-to-city cooperation might work. The OAU, for example, is struggling to improve its role in regional conflict management. As a result, they have restructured the organization, establishing a new organ, the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, and Resolution. Chris Bakewesegha, Head of this Division, is quoted as saying that "the imperative for Africa is to take a hard look at the scourge of conflicts, and to design viable mechanisms for conflict resolving and management capacities..."95Given the great difficulty of the OAU to coordinate state-centric conflict prevention, and the continuation of non-state-centric aspects of conflict resolution throughout the continent, consideration of a city-system based component to their work might be in order.96
  9. The evolution of the current world system under what is conventionally termed "globalisation" may actually be opening up further opportunities for municipal foreign policy and urban scale agency. The gaps and interstices between regulatory power as structured in the current global system, combined with state need for city-level action, may do much to empower urban praxis. Certainly "the new localism" has policy implications for economic development by shifting the locus of opportunity.97 States are likely to "need" cities to be stronger; certainly the nature of global problems calls out for stronger urban-level action and for city-system cooperation.98 The trend to affirm wider powers for local initiative also supports this process of opening up the political space for action.


"So let us have a look at the possibilities (for peace) if there could be more city-logic and less state-logic in the world." [Johan Galtung]

In sum, we need as many actors/agents/scales working on peace making as possible. Conflicts abound in the 21st century world disorder, and our skills and tools remain underdeveloped. Thus why ignore a valuable and proven set of actors and sites that could be employed in our search for a better future? The urban has always been part of our conflicts and violence: the pragmatic argument means we cannot afford to leave it out of our conflict resolution attempts.

Even more forcefully, if we are concerned with sustainable peace, positive rather than negative peace, conflict transformation rather than conflict management, we should proactively seek to "bring the urban back in". The urban scale offers a number of alternative norms, principles and values that contrast sharply with those offered by the state in conflict resolution. If we truly seek to structure a new paradigm for social relations for the 21st century, then cities MUST be part of our arsenal.

The techniques for such inclusion are clear: gradually empowering city-systems within regional institutions; build sub-regional city networks where none exist; enhance city-to-city decentralized cooperation globally, link such praxis in with the U.N, and allow its contribution to be valued. Just as with the call to link NGOs in to global conflict resolution, we must empower city-systems in this regard as part of a broader strategy. Galtung talks about systems that are "peace carriers" as opposed to those which "carriers of violence": a city-system offers great potential as a peace carrier. There may be a staged process to enhancing their relevance and role: perhaps through a graduated expansion, where city networks expand slowly across boundaries with sports, infrastructures, mutual vulnerabilities, movement of peoples, policies of complementarities and then more substantial involvements. If we gather more city-level data, organize city networks across regions, empower city linkages for economic development, enhance city-level conflict resolution capacity (Galtung's Peace Councillors for each municipality), attempt a wider range of municipal foreign policy, we may create a new political space within which their substantial contributions may flourish.

States will not give up power easily, although to some degree cities are taking power on their own anyway. National elites will feel threatened by such aggressive policies and actions. Interlinking scales is not easy; and devolving power is very hard for states. But states may also see communal benefits in shifting some authority, agency or governance to new city-systems. We do have some examples, such as the EU, where states are shifting power down to the city level to gain community benefit. It may be a good way to enhance regional efficacy in peace making; as a level perceived as "off the map" by states, decentralized coordination may not initially be as threatening as other alternatives. Certainly shifting power to the urban scale may actually be perceived as more controllable than NGOs or civil society.

The situation of conflict in the world is such that we must think beyond the state-centric paradigms of the past and the boxes states have put us in. One way is to rethink political space and agency, and return to an older notion of citizenship, agency and praxis that possibly has new relevance for the 21st century.


The author is grateful to the Department of Politics, University of Exeter for financial support in order to participate in this conference.


1. Louise Diamond and John McDonald, Multi-Track Diplomacy: A Systems Approach to Peace (Washington, D.C.: Kumarian Press, 1996).

2. See the following for a flavour of the new scholarship: Saskia Sassen, The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2001). John Friedmann, The Prospect of Cities (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2002). Allen J. Scott, ed. Global City-Regions: Trends, Theory, Policy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000). Resat Kasaba, ed. Cities in the World-System (New York: Greenwood Press, 1991).

3. Prevention of Armed Conflict: Report of the UN Secretary General (June 2001) A/55/985-S/2001/574.

4. As George Modelski puts it, "It is a matter of some interest to students of international relations that the invention of writing as recorded in Sumerian literature arises in the context of inter-state relations." George Modelski, "Ancient World Cities 4000-1000 BC: Centre/Hinterland in the World System," Global Society 13/4 (1999): 388, Footnote #15. I would suggest that the thrust of his article implies that it was more appropriately "in the context of an evolving city-system" rather than that of "inter-state relations."

5. Such themes carried on through the mythology of the region. 2000 years later, Nimrud, the capital of Ashur-Nasirpal II (883 BC), was protected by reliefs of the apkallū, eagle-headed beings with human bodies endowed by the gods to build the great cities and to ensure the well-being of the city's inhabitants.

6. See Lewis Mumford, The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and its Prospects (New York: Harcourt, Inc., 1961) or Peter Hall, Cities in Civilization (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1998) for a general view. A recent book, by James Bamford, Body of Secrets (New York: Anchor, 2002), reports that in the 1960's, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff considered a plan called "Operation Northwoods" which involved committing acts of terrorism within US cities in order to create public support for a war against Cuba.

7. "Capital Preservation: Preparing for Urban Operations in the 21st Century," p. 578 (24 October 2002). <>.

8. See Fernand Braudel's discussion of towns and cities in Civilization and Capitalism, Vol. I The Structures of Everyday Life (New York: Harper and Row, 1979).

9. See Stephen Graham, "Special Collection: Reflections on Cities, September 11th and the 'War on Terrorism'- One Year On," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 26:3 (2002): 589-625 or Russell W. Glenn, "The City's Many Faces: Proceedings of the Arroyo-MCWL-J8 UWG Urban Operations Conference", Rand Corporation, (20 November 2002). < >.

10. "Capital Preservation: Preparing for Urban Operations in the 21st Century", 576, (24 October 2002). <>.

11. See Saskia Sassen, "Iraq War Blowback," Nation 276/4 (2 March 2003). See also Edward Glaeser and Jesse Shapiro, "Cities and Warfare: The Impact of Terrorism on Urban Form," Discussion Paper #1942 (Harvard: Harvard Institute of Economic Research) (March 2003) <>.

12. Graham, 589. See also Colin Flint, "Political Geography II: terrorism, modernity, governance and governmentality," Progress in Human Geography 27/1 (2003).

13. "Capital Preservation: Preparing for Urban Operations in the 21st Century", 589. (24 October 2002). <>.

14. Michael Desch, ed. "Soldiers in cities: military operations in urban terrain," Strategic Studies Institute (Carlisle, PA: US Army War College, 2001). (23 January 2003) <>.

15. David Clark, Urban World/Global City (London: Routledge, 1996), 3.

16. Balchin, Paul et al., Urban Economics: A Global Perspective (Hampshire: Palgrave, 2000), 532.

17. Saskia Sassen, ed., Global Networks: Linked Cities (New York: Routledge, 2002), 26.

18. "US Refines Plan for War in Cities," NY Times, 22 October 2002.

19. "Iraq Said to Plan Strategy of Delay and Urban Battle," NY Times, 16 February 2003, sec. A, p. 1.

20. In a speech to the citizens of Mosul during May 2003, US Maj. General David Petraeus stated "I am feeling like a Mosulwi". See <> or <> for further reports about Petraeus's activities in Mosul.

21. "The Cost of War with Iraq for Selected Cities in Massachusetts," National Priorities Project <>. (03/03).

22. "Prepare Our Cities for War with Iraq," The Washington Times, 31 December 2002.

23. "Israel Redefines Tactics: Doctrine Highlights Limited, Urban Combat," DefenseNews, 10-16 June 2002, 24.

24. "Israel Redefines Tactics: Doctrine Highlights Limited, Urban Combat," DefenseNews, 10-16 June 2002, 24.

25. See The Urban Operations Journal section on Jenin. <>. (03/03).

26. John Shreeve, "Urban Combat," Data Conversion Laboratory. (03/03).

27. Over 5,000 years, cities have been both sites for conflict resolution among antagonists as well as actors in the process. Most of this involvement and intervention has been forgotten, though occasionally there remain glimpses in Shakespearean plays or the Thousand and One Nights.

28. There is one interesting short article by Johan Galtung entitled "Local Authorities as Peace Factors/Actors/Workers". Journal of World-Systems Research VI, 3, (Fall/Winter 2000) [electronic journal], (March 2003), <>. This article is confused and rambling, but contains a number of important points that support the arguments made here.

29. <>. (March 2003).

30. reference

31. Economic Growth and Innovation in Multicultrual Environments network.<>. (March 2003).

32. Virginia Association for Community Conflict Resolution.<>. (03/03).

33. Refugee Conflict Management Project, Center for Peacemaking and Conflict Studies, Fresno Pacific University. <>. (03/03).

34. See <> (03/03) for WSCC and a world cities organizations list, or see Metropolis links page at (03/03).

35. ICLEI World Congress of Local Governments. July 2000.<>. (03/03).

36. US-Cuba Sister Cities Association, <>. (March 2003).

37. "The Consequences of Nuclear Conflict between India and Pakistan," Natural Resources Defense Council.<>. (03/03).

38. Neal Peirce, "Cities as Peacemakers", Seattle Times, 4 April 2000.

39. Colin Knox, "Conflict Resolution at the Microlevel: Community Relations in Northern Ireland," The Journal of Conflict Resolution 38/4 (1994).

40. <>. (March 2003).

41. Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology. International Program on Governance and Conflict Resolution. University of Arizona. <>. (03/03)

42. "Resolving Intergovernmental Conflict," Western Justice Centre Programs. <>. (03/03).

43. Community Safety and Conservation Division: Peacemaker Corps. <>. (03/03)

44. "Community Policing: After a good beginning, more progress ahead," Telegram and Gazette; Worcester, MA, 20 Aug. 1996.

45. See the MDP website at <> or <>.

46. <> (4 October 2003).

47. <>. (20 August 2003).

48. Bill of Rights Defense Committee, <>.

49. "Report of a Workshop on City-to-City Cooperation and the Interaction between Municipal Governments and Civil Society," First Forum of the World Alliance of Cities Against Poverty, 1998, 3. <> (10 September 2000).

50. 4, "Report of a Workshop on City-to-City Cooperation and the Interaction between Municipal Governments and Civil Society."

51. See <> and their Post-War Reconstruction and Development Unit (PRDU).

52. <> (18 June 2003).

53. UN Habitat report, "City-to-City Cooperation: Issues Arising from Experience: An Interim Report" Rio de Janeiro, May 2001, <> (18 June 2003).

54. <> (18 June 2003).

55. <> (18 June 2003).

56. Monseñor Leonardo Gomez Serna, "Mogotes Municipal Constituent Assembly: activating 'popular sovereignty'at a local level," Accord Magazine [electronic magazine]. <> (18 June 2003).

57. Warren Magnusson, The Search for Political Space (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996), 265.

58. Ibid, 264.

59. Ibid, 273.

60. Miall, Hugh et al., Contemporary Conflict Resolution (Malden, MA: Polity Press, 1999), 4.

61. Prevention of Armed Conflict: Report of the UN Secretary General (June 2001) A/55/985-S/2001/574.

62. Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict. <>. (15 October 2003)

63. See the links sites for the South African Cities Network at <> (20 August 2003) or the Metropolis links site at <> (11 August 2003) for a portal into these types of organizations.

64. Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict.

65. John Burton, Conflict: Resolution and Provention (London: Macmillan, 1990).

66. www.......

67. Miall, Hugh et al., Contemporary Conflict Resolution (Malden, MA: Polity Press, 1999).

68. Ibid, 4.

69. Ibid, 35.

70. Ibid, 218.

71. Ibid, 102.

72. John Paul Lederach, "Conflict Transformation in Protracted Internal Conflicts: The Case for a Comprehensive Framework," in Conflict Transformation, ed. Kumar Rupesinghe (London: St. Martin's Press, 1995), 205.

73. Mekenkamp, Monique et al., eds. Searching for Peace in Central and South Asia (London: Lynne Rienner, 2002), 3.

74. Mary B. Anderson, Do No Harm: How Aid Can Support Peace-Or War (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1999), 145.

75. Ibid, 71.

76. Ibid, 147.

77. Sultan Barakat and Margaret Chard, "Theories, rhetoric and practice: recovering the capacities of war-torn societies," Third World Quarterly 23/5 (2002).

78. J.Brian Atwood, "The Development Imperative: Creating the Preconditions for Peace," Journal of International Affairs 55/2 (2002).

79. Galtung, 872.

80. Vasquez, John et al., eds. Beyond Confrontation: Learning Conflict Resolution in the Post-Cold War Era (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1995).

81. 5,000 years of human experience in cities should have much to teach us, as should global experiences beyond the European/American context.

82. Richard Salem, "The Alternative Dispute Resolution Movement: An Overview, " The Arbitration Journal 40:3 (1985).

83. See the special issue: "Cities and Citizenship in a Global Age" of Citizenship Studies 3/2 (1999).

84. Johan Galtung, "Local Authorities as Peace Factors/Actors/Workers," Journal of World-Systems Research [electronic journal] VI/3 (2000). <>.

85. Ibid, 861.

86. Magnusson, 260.

87. Amin Maalouf, On Identity (London: Harvill Press, 2000).

88. John Friedmann, The Prospect of Cities (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2002).

89. Galtung, 861.

90. Ashutosh Varshney, Ethnic Conflict and Civic Life: Hindus and Muslims in India (Yale: Yale University Press, ).

91. Magnusson, 277.

92. Ibid, 277.

93. Galtung, 862.

94. Gene Sharp, The Politics of Non-violent Action (Boston: Porter Sargent, 1973).

95. Chris Backwesegha, "The Role of the OAU in Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution in the Context of the Political Evolution of Africa," Africa Journal of Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution 1/1 (1997).

96. Adane Ghebremeskel, "Regional Approach to Conflict Management Revisited: The Somali Experience," OJPCR: The Online Journal of Peace and Conflict Resolution 4:2 (2002):9-29 <>.

97. Ash Amin and Nigel Thrift, Cities: Reimagining the Urban (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2002), 55.

98. Magnusson, 277.

Edited and posted on the web on 27th October 2003