From "Ethnocracity" to Urban Apartheid: A View from Jerusalem\al-Quds

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Haim Yacobi


In the core of this article stands an argument that while ethnocracy was a relevant analytical framework for understanding the urban dynamics of Jerusalem\al-Quds up until two decades ago, this is no longer the case. As this article demonstrates, ver the past twenty years or so, the city’s geopolitical balance and its means of demographic control, as well as an intensifying militarization and a growing use of state violence, have transformed the city from an ethnocracity into an urban apartheid.  Theoretically, this article aims to go beyond the specific analogy with South African apartheid, the most notorious case of such a regime. Rather I would suggest that in our current market-driven, neo-liberal era, an apartheid city should be taken as a distinct urban regime based on urban trends such as privatization of space, gentrification, urban design, infrastructure development and touristic planning. I would propose that these practices substitute for explicit apartheid legislation (of a sort introduced in the South African case), bringing to the fore new participants in the apartheidization of the city, such as real estate developers and various interest groups.

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