Belfast : Segregation, Violence and the City

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Paris, Jerusalem and Belfast are cities that are shaped by political violence, death and the injustices caused by segregated living. But divided cities are becoming places within which policy makers and politicians project an image of normality despite the facts of social injustice, victimhood and harm.

It is a commonly held view that the city of Belfast is emerging out of conflict and into a new era of tolerance and transformation. This book challenges this viewpoint. The authors pinpoint how international peace accords, such as the Belfast Agreement, are gradually eroded as conflict shifts into a stale and repetitive pattern of ethnically-divided competition over resources.

This book is a vivid portrait of how segregation, lived experience and fear are linked in a manner that undermines democratic accountability. It argues that the control of place remains the most important weapon in the politicisation of communities and the reproduction of political violence. Segregation provides the laboratory within which sectarianism continues to grow.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 216 pages
  • 135 x 215 x 17.78mm | 362.87g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745324819
  • 9780745324814

Table of contents


1. Introduction

2. Even in Death Do us Stay Apart

3. The Belfast Disagreement

4. Interfacing, Violence and Wicked Problems

5. Between Segregated Communities

6. Coasting in the other city

7. Ethnic poker: policy and the divided city

8. Conclusion


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About Brendan Murtagh

Peter Shirlow is Senior Lecturer in the School of Environmetal Studies at the University of Ulster. He is the author of Beyond the Wire: Former Prisoners and Conflict Transformation in Northern Ireland (Pluto, 2008) and Belfast: Segregation, Violence and the City (Pluto, 2006). Brendan Murtagh is lecturer in Environmental Planning at Queens University, Belfast. He is the author of Belfast: Segregation, Violence and the City (Pluto, 2006) and The Politics of Territory (Palgrave, 2002).
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