Urban areas have long served as battlegrounds of social conflict, and urbanization and globalization have only intensified their role as focal points of struggle. As the stakes of physical, military, and economic planning have risen, so has the temptation to use coercive tactics to manage urban conflicts. Government responses to terrorism, trafficking, piracy, and other forms of lawlessness reflect this attraction to the use of violence.
Recently, worsening local economic inequality has spurred rising discontent, and government sin almost every part of the world have sought to acquire security through force. States have tightened the physical control of their borders, while implementing increased immigration enforcement within those borders. They have blurred the lines between military and police forces. They have even invaded and occupied territories seen as hostile to their national identity or to corporate economic interests.
Ian Elder & Nina Flores