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Network-Centric Violence, Critical Infrastructure and the Urbanisation of Security

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Martin Coward


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This article addresses the question of whether contemporary global urbanization is characterized by a distinctive relationship between the city and warfare. In particular, it examines the specific way in which two particular forms of warfare — so-called Al-Qaeda terrorism and US tactics in Iraq — target urban infrastructure. I argue that infrastructure is targeted because it is a constitutive feature of contemporary urban life. Metropolitan life is marked by its constitutive relation to urban infrastructure. The article thus suggests that this targeting of infrastructure provides a lens through which to investigate some of the central questions posed by the contemporary urbanization of security.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Coward M

Publication type: Article

Journal: Security Dialogue

Year: 2009

Volume: 40

Issue: 4-5

Pages: 399-418

Print publication date: 01/08/2010

ISSN (print): 0967-0106

ISSN (electronic): 1460-3640

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.


DOI: 10.1177/0967010609342879

Notes: Author's final draft of paper available from:


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