Diane E. Davis. 2012. “Analytical Foundations for the Study of Informality: A Short Introduction.” In Informalidad urbana e incertidumbre: como estudiar la informalizacion en la metropolis?, edited by Frederic Lesemann and Felipe de Alba. Mexico DF: Universidad Nacional Aiutonoma de Mexico, Coordinacion de Humanidades, Programa Universitario de Estudios Sobre la Ciudad.
Ce rapport est issu d’une courte mais intense recherche comparative mettant en parallèle les quartiers de Saint-Michel à Montréal et les sept barrios d’Iztapalapa à Mexico. Ce projet comparatif est né d’une collaboration précédente avec le Réseau continental de recherche sur l’informalité dans les métropoles (RECIM). Il a été financé par le Centre Métropolis Québec et la Chaire de recherche du Canada sur l’urbanité, l’insécurité et l’action politique.
Diane E. Davis. 2012. “Latin American Cities.” In The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, edited by Michael Ryan and George Ritzer.
Different cities hosted very different types of protests, depending on the nature of the spaces under occupation. By building a movement that focused on actual public space, the Occupy movements did indeed evolve a new form of articulating citizenship by strategically deploying public spaces in the construction of a larger movement for democratic citizenship. But the ambiguous role that the commitment to physically occupying space played within the different urban factions of the larger movement, and the failure of these simultaneously-enacted, city-based protests to link larger citizenship concerns to social or legal rights to permanently occupy physical spaces, also limited the power of the movement both locally and nationally, further reflecting divisions within the movement about its larger political purpose. Although increased mobility in space can enable acts of protest, just as public spaces can serve as symbolic sites for enacting citizenship, the question of whether these and other built environmental factors will motivate political dissatisfaction remains an open question. When physical space for protest becomes a rare commodity, a city’s democratic and civic spheres are also under threat.
While the sources and forms of social and political violence have been extensively examined, the ways ordinary people along with their neighbors and officials cope with chronic urban violence have earned far less attention. This eight-case study of cities suffering from a history of violence explores this latter phenomenon, which we call resilience. We define resilience as those acts intended to restore or create effectively functioning community-level activities, institutions, and spaces in which the perpetrators of violence are marginalized and perhaps even eliminated.
Diane E. Davis and Graham Denyer Willis. 2011. “Anti-Crime Movements in Latin America.” In The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social and Political Movements, edited by David A. Snow, Donatella Della Porta, Bert Klandermans, and Doug McAdam. New York and London: Basil Blackwell.
Cities have long been associated with diversity and tolerance, but from Jerusalem to Belfast to the Basque Country, many of the most intractable conflicts of the past century have played out in urban spaces. The contributors to this interdisciplinary volume examine the interrelationships of ethnic, racial, religious, or other identity conflicts and larger battles over sovereignty and governance. Under what conditions do identity conflicts undermine the legitimacy and power of nation-states, empires, or urban authorities? Does the urban built environment play a role in remedying or exacerbating such conflicts? Employing comparative analysis, these case studies from the Middle East, Europe, and South and Southeast Asia advance our understanding of the origins and nature of urban conflict.
Building on Henri Lefebvre’s work on the role of imagination in crafting socially just urban conditions and “rights to the city,” this paper asks whether new ideas and urban practices can be produced through the use of experimental visioning techniques. Using empirical evidence drawn from an ideas competition for Jerusalem, one of the world’s most intractable conflict cities, the paper considers the extent to which the global call to create alternative visions for a just, peaceful, and sustainable Jerusalem resulted in new strategies considered fundamentally different from those routinely deployed in conventional planning practice, how and why.
In a world of growing security concerns, the armed groups outside of state environment, have attracted the attention of scholars interested in the regime's stability and the consolidation of national states. Activities of these actors reveal alternative networks of power, authority, independence and self-governance with a variety of territorial levels, both smaller and larger than the nation-state itself. Based on the analysis of actors as diverse as private police, gangs and mafias, this article analyzes the growth and importance of non-state armed action, structured around economic activities. Conclude with questions about conventional categorizations of states, the armed and unarmed, and the nature of sovereignty in the contemporary era.
Historically, the study of state formation has involved a focus on the urban and national conditions under which states monopolize the means of coercion, generate legitimacy, and marshal sufficient economic resources to wage war against enemies while sustaining citizen allegiance through the extension of social programs, new forms of national solidarity, and citizenship. In Charles Tilly’s large body of work, these themes loomed large, and they have re-emerged in slightly reformulated ways in an unfinished manuscript that reflected on the relationship between capital and coercion in which he also integrated the element of commitment—or networks of trust—into the study of state formation. This article develops these same ideas but in new directions, casting them in light of contemporary rather than historical developments. Taking as its point of departure the accelerating rates of criminal violence and citizen insecurity in cities of the developing world, this essay suggests that random and targeted violence increasingly perpetrated by “irregular” armed forces pose a direct challenge to state legitimacy and national sovereignty. Through examination of urban and transnational non-state armed actors who use violence to accumulate capital and secure economic dominion, and whose activities reveal alternative networks of commitment, power, authority, and even self-governance, this essay identifies contemporary parallels with the pre-modern period studied by Charles Tilly, arguing that current patterns challenge prevailing national-state forms of sovereignty. Drawing evidence primarily from Mexico and other middle income developing countries that face growing insecurity and armed violence, the article examines the new “spatialities” of irregular armed force, how they form the basis for alternative networks of coercion, allegiance, and reciprocity that challenge old forms and scales of sovereignty, and what this means for the power and legitimacy of the traditional nation-state.