Drawing on a wealth of original research, Stephen Graham shows how Western militaries and security forces now perceive all urban terrain as a conflict zone inhabited by lurking shadow enemies. Urban inhabitants have become targets that need to be continually tracked, scanned and controlled. Graham examines the transformation of Western armies into high-tech urban counter-insurgency forces. He looks at the militarization and surveillance of international borders, the use of ‘security’ concerns to suppress democratic dissent, and the enacting of legislation to suspend civilian law. In doing so, he reveals how the New Military Urbanism permeates the entire fabric of urban life, from subway and transport networks hardwired with high-tech ‘command and control’ systems to the insidious militarization of a popular culture corrupted by the all-pervasive discourse of ‘terrorism.’
Accessible, topical and state-of-the art, Disrupted Cities will be required reading for anyone interested in the intersections of technology, security and urban life as we plunge headlong into this quintessentially urban century. The book’s blend of cutting-edge theory with visceral events means that it will be particularly useful for illuminating urban courses within geography, sociology, planning, anthropology, political science, public policy, architecture and technology studies.
Stephen Graham was a noted writer and journalist who took the fateful step of enlisting in the Scots Guards at the less than tender age of 33. However as he did so in 1917 the manpower shortage of the First World War ensured his quick acceptance into the “Little Sparta” depot for recruits. Being a liberal, well-travelled gentleman with views as to his dignity, the author suffered greatly under the strict discipline and harsh training of which he complained bitterly in this book. He shipped out to France for the last bloody year of the war, and found that he had bonded with his comrades to an extent he could not have imagined. Even as part of an elite unit he experienced the casual brutality and suffering of the fighting troops which he noted with his eye for detail and recorded herein.
A First World War One memoir controversial at the time of publication and still every inch a classic.
The chapters address water, sanitation, and waste politics in Mumbai, Kampala and Tyneside, analyse the use of infrastructure in the dispossession of Palestinian communities, explore the pacification of Rio’s favelas in the run-up to the 2014 World Cup, describe how people’s bodies and lives effectively operate as ‘infrastructure’ in many major cities, and also explores tentative experiments with low-carbon infrastructures.
These diverse cases and perspectives are connected by a shared sense of infrastructure not just as a ‘thing’, a ‘system’, or an ‘output,’ but as a complex social and technological process that enables – or disables – particular kinds of action in the city. Infrastructural Lives is crucial reading for academics, researchers, students and practitioners in urban studies globally.
A path-breaking exploration of the intersections of war, terrorism and cities Argues that contemporary cities are the key strategic sites of geopolitical conflict Written by the world’s leading analysts of the intersections of urban space and military and terrorist violence Draws on cutting-edge research from geography, history, architecture, planning, sociology, critical theory, politics, international relations and military studies Provides up-to-date empirical analyses of specific conflicts, including 9/11, the “War on Terrorism”, the Balkan wars, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and urban antiglobalization battles Offers lay readers a sophisticated perspective on the violence that is engulfing our increasingly urbanised world
Today we live in a world that can no longer be read as a two-dimensional map, but must now be understood as a series of vertical strata that reach from the satellites that encircle our planet to the tunnels deep within the ground. In Vertical, Stephen Graham rewrites the city at every level: how the geography of inequality, politics, and identity is determined in terms of above and below.
Starting at the edge of earth’s atmosphere and, in a series of riveting studies, descending through each layer, Graham explores the world of drones, the city from the viewpoint of an aerial bomber, the design of sidewalks and the hidden depths of underground bunkers. He asks: why was Dubai built to be seen from Google Earth? How do the super-rich in São Paulo live in their penthouses far above the street? Why do London billionaires build vast subterranean basements? And how do the technology of elevators and subversive urban explorers shape life on the surface and subsurface of the earth?
Vertical will make you look at the world around you anew: this is a revolution in understanding your place in the world.