Course code EDS383

EDS383 Urban Space and Violence

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2019 - 2020 .

Course responsible: Kirsti Stuvøy
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: Faculty of Landscape and Society
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
This course begins in the spring parallel. Classes take place in the spring parallel, as does the assessment. 
Course frequency: Biannually in odd years (Starting spring 2019)
First time: Study year 2018-2019
Preferential right:
Course contents:

This course deals with the current trend to an increasingly urban world. Although there are positive dimensions to urban sprawl and related societal innovation, this course addresses the dark side of urbanization by focusing on forms of violence in urban space. The focus is on collective violence in cities, including riots, gang violence, urbicide, urban warfare, etc. In addition, the course is concerned with inequality and marginality in urban space that can generate effects similar to physical violence, and is usually captured as structural violence. The course draws on examples from cities across the global North and South, and aims to discuss similarities and differences in how violence is understood across contexts. With its focus on urbanization, violence and marginality in urban space in a global perspective, the course is concerned with the governance of one of the contemporary development challenges (SDG #11).

The course has three parts: Part One entitled ¿Urban Space and Forms of Violence¿ addresses characteristic of the contemporary urban age and urbanization and examples of urban violence (six weeks). Part Two is devoted to working on student projects. Students work on a case study within the thematic areas of urban violence, inequality, development or urban governance for three weeks. In Part Three of this course, entitled ¿Urban Challenges, Violence and Global Politics¿ connections are drawn between examples and specific cities and broader development issues such as the role of non-state actors in urban violence and global politics (three weeks).

Learning outcome:

In this course students will develop their knowledge of urbanization, violence, and government challenges in regard to violent urban developments. The selection of readings includes empirical case studies, conceptual and theoretical contributions, and the learning outcomes depend on students critical engagement with the literature and course activities. Through this course, we will strive to achieve that students have the following learning outcomes:

Knowledge and competence:

  • The student can explain and discuss the concept of violence and give examples of multiple forms of urban violence.
  • The student can explain the difference between direct, physical violence and structural violence.
  • The student has knowledge of the main characteristics of contemporary urbanization and can critically discuss its relevance to urban violence.
  • The student has knowledge of the urban agenda and the emerging global governance thereof and the political role of cities in global politics.
  • The student can reflect critically on urban violence and ways of approaching global challenges.

Writing skills and oral presentations:

  • The student has attended project work, including weekly project meetings during the three week project period, and presented the results in a twenty minutes oral presentation (mandatory activity).
  • The student has training in communicating in writing and orally, to peers, the complexities of violence in urban space, drawing on selected examples and case studies, and can discuss the urban agenda in global governance, etc.
Learning activities:
Lectures with student activation; discussions in class; a three week project period with weekly project meetings and an oral presentation to present the results; independent reading and essay writing. 
Teaching support:
The learning platform Canvas provides details about the various sessions in the course, organization of project week and individual course work, etc. Students can pose questions and receive feedback in Canvas, and schedule appointments with lecturer. 

To be updated. 

Auyero, J. & Sobering, K. (2017) 'Violence, the State and the Poor: A View from the South', Sociological Forum, 32, S1, 1018-1031.

Beall, J., Guha-Khasnobis, B. & Kanbur, R. (2010) Beyond the Tipping Point: A Multidisciplinary Perspective on Urbanization and Development. In: Beall, J., Guha-Khasnobis, B. & Kanbur, R. (Eds.). Urbanization and Development.

Berger, M. & Weber, H. (2009) 'War, Peace and Progress: conflict, development, (in)security and violence in the 21st century', Third World Quarterly, 30, 1, 1-16.

Curtis, S. 2016. Global Cities and Global Order, Oxford University Press.
Dikec, Mustafa. 2017. Urban Rage. The Revolt of the Excluded.

Fuccaro, F. (2016) Violence and the City in the Modern Middle East (Stanford, Stanford University Press). (only selected chapters)

Gizewski, P. & Homer-Dixon, T. (1995) Urban Growth and Violence: Will the Future Resemble the Past? Occasional Paper. Project on Environment, Population and Security. Washington, D.C.: American Association for the Advancement of Science and the University of Toronto.

Kruijt, D. & Koonings, K. (1999) Societies of Fear: The Legacy of Civil War, Violence and Terror in Latin America. London, Zed Books.

Pieterse, E. (2010) 'Cityness and African Urban Development', Urban Forum, 21205-219.

Rodgers, D.; Beall, J. & Ravi Kanbur, S. M. (2012) Latin American urban development into the twenty first century Towards a renewed perspective on the city. Studies in developmenteconomics and policy. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.

Shapiro, M. (2009) "Managing Urban Security: City Walls and Urban Metis." Security Dialogue 40: 443-461.

Shwayri, S. T. (2012) 'Modern Warfare and the Theorization of the Middle Eastern City', in EDENSOR, T. & JAYNE, M. (eds.) Urban Theory beyond the West. A world of cities. London and New York: Routledge, Talyor & Francis Group).

World Cities Report (2016) Urbanization and Development: Emerging Futures. United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).

Knowledge of international relations, development, urban studies/planning, political science, sociology, and similar fields.
Recommended prerequisites:
This course is designed for master students (international relations, development studies, etc.) and students involvement lie at the core of this graduate course. This implies responsibilities, as well as opportunities for students, and it is expected that you come prepared to each class. When you do, we all will benefit from focused discussion and can learn from one another.
Mandatory activity:
Participation in weekly project meetings during the three week project period, and in the twenty minutes (20 Minutes) oral presentation that concludes the project. 

Exam Component One: Project presentation graded Pass/Fail

Exam Component Two: Individual term paper of 6000 words. (A-F) 

Nominal workload:

300 hours.

The learning activities in this course include lectures with student activation, class discussions, collective project work, oral presentation with feedback, self-study of the readings and individual essay writing. 

Entrance requirements:
Knowledge of international relations, development studies, urban studies/planning, political science, sociology, etc.
Type of course:
Lectures and seminars comprise in the first six weeks a weekly lecture (2x45min) and a weekly seminar (1x45min). Week six to nine is the project period in which students mainly self-manage their time but meet for one hour weekly project meetings (1x45). In week nine the presentation day that ends the project period with oral presentation takes place.  Week ten to twelve comprise one weekly lecture (2x45min) and one seminar (1x45 min). 
This course is open to students interested in urban issues and politics in global perspective, i.e. students in international relations, development studies, but also urban and regional planning. 

Exam component One: Internal examiner grades oral presentation of project work (pass/fail).

Exam component Two: Individual term paper: Internal examiner grades all papers; external examiner grades a selection of the papers.

Examination details: Continuous exam: A - E / F