This volume examines new perspectives on urban safety and peacebuilding in the face of rapidly changing conflict dynamics and tensions in urban settings.
Cities today are economic magnets and a source of real opportunity for many. Yet they are also sites of great poverty and grinding inequality in terms of access to services, including all of the basics – housing, schooling, health care, food, transport, security, and justice. In light of these challenges, this volume wants to reflect on the conceptual and practical advances in the fields of urban safety and peacebuilding to help shape solutions to the rapidly increasing risk of conflict and insecurity in urban settings.
Traditionally, violent conflict has been associated with inter-state or civil wars; but there is a growing convergence among experts that most violent conflicts no longer fit these categories. In the future, these violent dynamics are expected to find their expressions in cities, and they call for new solutions and responses and an expanded tool box. While securitized approaches remain popular among politicians, approaches that are integrated across a range of sectors and work at different levels have shown strong results.
Based on this rationale for new practical responses to a changing strategic landscape in cities, this volume aims to expand the conceptual and practical space for ‘sustaining peace’ in the city. The term ‘sustaining peace’ resulted from the review of the UN peacebuilding architecture – as expressed in UN Security Resolution 2282 (2016) – and repositions peacebuilding as an activity across all stages of conflict, as a priority for the entire UN system, and as a responsibility for national governments and all other national stakeholders. This repositioning of peacebuilding practice is an opportunity to broaden the optic of peacebuilding practice beyond inter-and intra-state armed conflict – and especially their aftermath – and reconnect to the community-based origins of peacebuilding practice. A focus on ‘sustaining peace’ therefore serves as a framing in this volume for situating new policy responses against conflict, violence, and exclusion in the city.
This book will be of interest to students of peacebuilding, urban studies, security studies and International Relations.
Oliver Jutersonke is Head of Research, Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP), Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland.
Achim Wennmann is Executive Coordinator at the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform, Geneva, Switzerland, and author of The Political Economy of Peacemaking (Routledge, 2011).