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Against anthropocentrism: the destruction of the built environment as a distinct form of political violence

Abstract

This article examines the nature of the destruction of built environments. Such destruction should be seen as a distinct form of violence: urbicide. This violence comprises the destruction of shared spatiality which is the condition of possibility of heterogeneous communities. Urbicide, insofar as it is a destruction of heterogeneity in general, is thus a manifestation of a ‘politics of exclusion’. However, this account of the destruction of the built environment is not only an insight into a distinct form of political violence. Rather, an account of urbicide also offers a metatheoretical argument regarding the scholarly study of political violence: namely that destruction of built environments contests the anthropocentric frame that usually dominates the study of violence.

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Review of International Studies
  • ISSN: 0260-2105
  • EISSN: 1469-9044
  • URL: /core/journals/review-of-international-studies
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