Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal Special Issue - The spatiality of violence in postwar cities

Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal

This is a call for abstracts for a special issue of Third World Thematics that will analyse the spatiality of violence in postwar cities. We invite contributions that explore where, how, when, and why urban violence manifests itself within postwar cities; how the continuity and concentration of violence in postwar cities affects the wider contexts of these cities; as well as city-specific ways of preventing and managing violence. We look for authors who adopt a spatial analysis of the city and explore intra-city patterns and dynamics of violence, how space is physically and ideationally contested and fought over, and how urban planning and the built environment affects and is affected by manifestations of violence.

The special issue is based on the recognition that postwar cities often become obstacles to consolidated peace, flashpoints for renewed conflict, and dangerous for people to live in. One central reason is the prevalent continuity of conflict-related violence from war into peace, and its spatial concentration, in postwar cities. Due to the particularities of cities – which are dense, heterogeneous, and constitute important symbolic and material assets in an ever-urbanising world – this violence often takes specifically urban forms and plays out differently than in non-urban settings. It also manifests itself differently at different micro-locations within these cities. This implies that in order to understand or prevent it, there is a dire need for systematic research that focuses on the spatiality of violence in postwar cities per se. This special issue hence seeks to contribute with crucial knowledge for understanding as well as preventing conflict-related violence in postwar cities.

We seek to achieve a set of articles that combine insights from the fields of peace research and urban studies, two fields that are indispensable to understanding violence in postwar cities yet have largely remained separate from each other. Drawing on these two fields, the contributions included in the proposed special issue will be informed by urban particularities, take intra-city dynamics into account, and adopt a spatial analysis of the city. Contributions could for instance explore where violence manifests itself, the targeting of symbolic and/or political monuments and institutions, and the determinants and effects of conflict management strategies in different urban neighbourhoods. We seek contributions relying on different methodologies and theoretical vantage points, and strive for a broad geographic representation of authors.

Instructions for Authors

The deadline for abstract submission is October 31, 2018. For accepted abstracts, full articles of 8,000-10,000 words in length are to be submitted to the editors by December 2018. To promote the coherence of the issue, authors will be invited to participate in a workshop in Sweden in early 2019. Tentative publication date in autumn 2019.

Editorial information

  • Guest Editor: Kristine Höglund, Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, Sweden
  • Guest Editor: Emma Elfversson, Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, Sweden (
  • Guest Editor: Ivan Gusic, Department of Political Science, Lund University, Sweden