Contested Cities: Violence in Jerusalem, Belfast, and Chicago

Davd Perry, University of Illinois at Chicago
John M. Hagedorn, University of Illinois - Chicago
Michael Morrissey, The Queen's University of Belfast
Frank Gaffikin, University of Ulster
Daniel Felsenstein, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

"Contested cities" are conceptualized as cities where existing divisions have an extra dimension of ethno-racial conflict. Thus, Jerusalem is the Holy City split by three religions and the cutting edge of the Palestinian/Israeli dispute. Belfast is the industrial center of Northern Ireland still divided by "peace walls" and the center of Catholic/Protestant contests for power. Chicago is the "city of broad shoulders' where the African American ghetto refuses to go away despite widespread gentrification and dislocation of housing project residents. In all three cities, rates of violence are well above the median for cities in each country and has persisted over decades. The paper will look at similarities and differences in violence in each city and the changing role of organizations of armed young men.

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Updated 05/20/2006