Session: #315

Theme & Session Format

4. Globalisation and archaeology
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Conflict Escalation and De-escalation in Urbanity
Urbanisation is a process in which people have to cope with changing conditions and increasing complexity. Such conditions not only involve an increase of population numbers and density, but also social competition, a competition for resources and development of new modes of interaction.
Urbanity can be seen as a lifestyle or interaction system which addresses issues of continuously increasing complexity and necessarily requires corresponding mechanisms of conflict resolution and de-escalation. Both escalation, potentially leading to the annihilation of at least one of the conflict parties, and de-escalation, potentially leading to cooperation, may present themselves as changes in this system. Inevitably different elements of society will be differentially affected and may be caught somewhere between fluidity and resistance.
Given the high potential for competition within urban places, we might expect an interrelation between urbanity and violence. However, urbanity apparently exhibits a rather low frequency of violent conflict. Urbanity is thus a telling example of successful resolution of conflict escalation and de-escalation, a topic which is essential for the understanding of resilient urbanity and urbanisation.
This session may evolve around questions such as:
• How can processes of escalation and de-escalation be found in the material record?
• What evidence do written sources introduce?
• Which insights can ethnography bring to the debate?
• Are there other possible sources of insight?
In this session, we aim for contributions addressing the identification and analysis of conflict escalation and de-escalation within urban places and processes, and especially the analysis of de-escalating strategies in urban contexts. We want to find out, how people cope(d) with strains on personal and communal identity in urbanity. Contributions from prehistoric and historic archaeology, from sociology, from ethnography as well as from other fields of research and a global perspective are warmly encouraged.
Urbanity, Conflict, Conciliation, Cooperation, Global Approach, Multidisciplinary
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
Session associated with SAfA:
Session associated with CAA:
Session associated with DGUF:
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Main organiser:
Anna Loy (Germany) 1
Victoria Alliata (Germany) 2
Paweł Cembrzyński (Germany) 1
Camilla Zeviani (United Kingdom) 3
1. ROOTS Kiel
2. CAU Kiel
3. University of Cambridge