Comparative Research on Contested Cities: Lenses and Scaffoldings.


This paper describes the methodological issues related to cross-national urban research in troubled settings. It describes why we must be clear in articulating the types of cities we are studying. It advocates for the use of crosscutting, integrative themes as a way to illuminate similarities (and differences) across specific cases. It then describes how a specific analytic 'lens' can be used to gain access to wider issues of urban governance and policymaking in divided societies. Key urban ethnic conditions (territoriality/control over land, distribution of economic benefits and costs, access to policy-making, and group identity) are described in terms of how they can facilitate or impede the movement toward peaceful co-existence. The paper concludes by describing how a comparative analytic framework (or 'scaffolding') can be developed in cross-national research that will make sense of case study findings and also provide footing for further theoretical advances and methodological choices as a research programme continues.


Working Paper No. 17 (series 2), 2007, London, UK; Crisis States Research Centre, 32 pp.

Comparative Research on Contested Cities: Lenses and Scaffoldings.

Published 1 January 2007