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Global Challenges
Special Issue no. 2 | March 2023
Urban Morphology & Violence
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Articles for this issue
Global Challenges
Special Issue no. 2 | March 2023
Urban Morphology & Violence

The essays in this volume are the product of a new 'research practicum' course in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the Graduate Institute in Geneva. They build on the debates on 'Urban Morphology and violence' to reflect on the associations between cities - their political orders and disorders - and outcomes ranging from occupation and resistance to marginalisation and containment. These texts foreshadow the possibility of centring - and challenging - the urban in our understanding of contemporary conflict, violence and peace. They are a first step in opening up a research agenda for a more textured analysis of spatial, geographical and temporal dynamics within the city in relation to violence, and, therefore, the mobilisation of spatial, temporal and visual modes of analysis. The promise is to make visible the varied roles of urban morphologies - adding to the debate on cities in and as sites of conflict.

Articles for this issue

Urban Morphology & Violence
  • I
     

    Centring the Urban in Our Understanding of Violence

    Reading time: 4 min
  • 1
     

    Italian Hospitality

    Reading time: 6 min
  • 2
     

    Hybrid Political Orders in Urban Settings

    Reading time: 5 min
  • 3
     

    Aerial Occupation and Aerial Forensics in Gaza

    Reading time: 4 min
  • 4
     

    Naypyidaw, Myanmar: A Capital Devoid of Protests

    Reading time: 4 min
  • 5
     

    Planetary Conflict: Exploring the Urban Geography of Boko Haram

    Reading time: 5 min
  • 6
     

    Making Peace with Urban Political Settlements

    Reading time: 5 min
  • 7
     

    Informality as a Right to Necessity?

    Reading time: 5 min
  • 8
     

    Stagnation in the French Banlieues

    Reading time: 5 min
Other Issues
Issue no. 10 | October 2021
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Decolonisation:
A Past That Keeps Questioning Us
Global Challenges
Issue no. 10 | October 2021
Decolonisation: A Past That Keeps Questioning Us

Today, we observe a renewed interest in the theme of decolonisation in three interrelated fields: in the academic world which opens new areas of research and teaching (e.g. decolonisation studies; decolonising the curriculum), in the practice of professionals and international actors who are revisiting their way of working, as well as in the vocabulary and activism of civil society targeting the remnants of colonial times such as street names, statues or museum objects. The renewed focus on decolonisation brings forth underlying issues such as the lingering of Eurocentrism, continued oppression of indigenous people, cultural relativism, the ongoing materiality of colonialism, the guilt of the West or, more generally, “the darker side of Western modernity”. While decolonisation has had a lasting impact on the political scene (with the decolonisation movements of the 1960s) and theoretically in the realm of academia, it lags behind in practice as processes, mentalities and epistemes are still permeated by “coloniality”. The present issue puts therefore decolonisation into historical perspective and provides fresh analytical perspectives on its epistemologies and methodologies as well as its practical application and consequences in various fields.

This issue has been coproduced by the Graduate Institute’s Department of International History and Politics and the Research Office. It also includes contributions from other research centres and departments of the Institute.

Issue no. 9 | March 2021
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The Moving Fault Lines of Inequality
Global Challenges
Issue no. 9 | March 2021
The Moving Fault Lines of Inequality

While poverty has been diminishing in absolute terms and relative income has been growing on a global scale for over two centuries, inequality – as measured by instruments such as the Gini coefficient – has been increasing steadily since the early 1980s. With the financial crisis of 2007, the growing digitalisation of the economy and the current pandemic, global inequality has further worsened, seeing the fortunes of the superrich attaining unprecedented levels and revenue concentrating in the top percentiles of societies.

Concurrently to the aggravation of the social fracture, additional fault lines have been opening or hardening along logics of race, gender, ethnicity and religion. Identarian revendications and logics of difference and exclusion have come to complement, compete with or supersede more traditional struggles for equality in a postmodern and neoliberal context that has normalised inequality, homogenised societies and done away with earlier grand narratives and collective agendas. 

The consequences of inequality(ies) are dramatic, as reflected in the polarisation and fragmentation of societies, worsening health and mortality indicators, political tensions and violence, a decline in democracy, and mistrust in state institutions. The objective of the current issue of Global Challenges is therefore – by reverting to the analytical tools of social science – to reflect on the causes behind the multifaceted growth of inequality(ies), anticipate their noxious fallouts and explore potential remedies.