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Speaker(s): Stephen Graham
Chair: Dr Fran Tonkiss
Recorded on 7 June 2010 at Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Cities have become the new battleground of our increasingly urban world. From the slums of the global South to the wealthy financial centres of the West, Cities Under Siege traces how political violence now operates through the sites, spaces, infrastructures and symbols of the world's rapidly expanding metropolitan areas. Drawing on a wealth of original research, Graham shows how Western and Israeli militaries and security forces now perceive all urban terrain as a real or imagined conflict zone inhabited by lurking, shadow enemies, and urban inhabitants as targets that need to be continually tracked, scanned, controlled and targeted. He examines the transformation of Western militaries into high-tech urban counter-insurgency forces, the militarization and surveillance of March international borders, the labelling as "terrorist" of democratic dissent and Politics/Geography protests, and the enacting of legislation suspending "normal" civilian law. In doing so, he reveals how the New Military Urbanism now permeates the entire fabric of our urban lives, from subway and transport systems hardwired with high-tech "command and control" systems and the infection of civilian policy with all-pervasive "security" discourses; to the pervasive militarization of popular culture.
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