Nationalistic/ethnic conflict and urbanism, politically divided cities, urban growth policy, intergovernmental approaches to planning
Prof. Bollens studies ethnicity and urban policy, development strategies, and regional and intergovernmental approaches to planning. Here are questions that guide my research and teaching: (1) what is the role and influence of urban planning and policy amidst deep inter-group conflict, (2) can bottom-up urbanism contribute to top-down peacemaking and efforts to democratize a multinational society, (3) what is the relationship between how governance is structured in metropolitan areas and the equality/inequality of opportunity across individuals and localities?
Over the past 25 years, Bollens has interviewed over 360 urban professionals and community advocates in Jerusalem, Belfast, Johannesburg, Nicosia (Cyprus), Sarajevo and Mostar (Bosnia), Barcelona and Basque cities (Spain), and Beirut about the role of urban policy and city building amidst nationalistic ethnic conflict and political transitions.
His most recent book is Trajectories of Conflict and Peace: Jerusalem and Belfast Since 1994 (2018, Routledge). Previous books are City and Soul in Divided Societies (2012, Routledge Press), Cities, Nationalism, and Democratization (2007, Routledge), On Narrow Ground (2000, State University of New York Press) and Urban Peace-Building in Divided Societies (1999, Westview Press).
For more information on new 2018 book, Trajectories of Conflict and Peace, see:
This book is about the trajectories of urban conflict and peace in the politically polarized cities of Jerusalem and Belfast since 1994 – how sometimes there has been hopeful change while at other times debilitating stasis and regression. Based on extensive research, fieldwork, and interviews, Scott Bollens shows how seeking peace in these cities is shaped by the interaction of city-based actors and national elites, and that it is not just a political process, but a social and spatial one that takes place problematically over an extended period. He intertwines academic precision with ethnography and personal narrative to illuminate the complex political and emotional kaleidoscopes of these polarized cities. With hostility and competition among groups defined by ethnic, religious, and nationalistic identity on the increase across the world, this timely investigation contributes to our understanding of today’s fractured cities and nations.
Prof. Bollens has written five books, more than 35 journal articles and book chapters in leading venues over the past 25 years, and has presented at numerous public forums in the U.S. and throughout the world. He has consulted, given invited presentations, and done commissioned work for the following in the field of peace and international cooperation:
Rand Corporation/ U.S. Department of State (ethnic enclaves in post-war Baghdad)
GIZ Afghanistan (German NGO), Country Risk Management Office, Kabul (urban conflict analysis)
United States Embassy, Vienna
United Nations Development Programme, Bi-Communal Development Programme
Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator on the Middle East Peace Process, East Jerusalem
Germany Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
London School of Economics and Political Science, Crisis States Research Centre
Canada Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Centre for Citizenship, Social Pluralism, and Religious Diversity. Potsdam University, Germany
Canadian Consortium on Human Security
Comparative Urban Studies Project, Wilson International Center for Scholars
Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center
Sarajevo Canton Institute for Development Planning
Jerusalem Institute of Israel Studies
Palestinian International Peace and Cooperation Center
Swedish Institute and the Olof Palme International Center
Aula Barcelona (Fundacio CIDOB), Barcelona
Organization of Arab Architects (Lebanon)
American University of Beirut
Scott Bollens. Forthcoming. “ACSP Distinguished Educator, 2002: David R. Godschalk.” Invited article. Journal of Planning Education and Research
Scott Bollens. 2020 (forthcoming). “National Policymaking, Contested Citizenship, and the City.” Pp. 35-52 in Mackert, Jürgen, et al. Urban Change and Citizenship in Times of Crisis. London: Routledge.
Scott Bollens. 2019. “An Island in Sectarian Seas?: Heritage, Memory, and Identity in Post-War Redevelopment of Beirut’s Central District.” Pp. 175-191 in Ritic, Mirjana and Sybille Frank (eds.) Urban Heritage in Divided Cities: Contested Pasts. London and New York: Routledge.
Scott Bollens. 2018. "National Policy Agendas Encounter the City: Complexities of Political-Spatial Implementation". Urban Affairs Review. DOI:10.1177/1078087418811676
Scott A. Bollens. 2018. Trajectories of Conflict and Peace: Jerusalem and Belfast Since 1994. New York and London: Routledge
Scott Bollens. 2014. Managing Multicultural Cities in Divided Countries. In K. Good, L. Turgeon, T. Triadafilopoulos (Eds.), Segmented Cities?: How Urban Contexts Shape Ethnic and Nationalist Politics. (pp. 226-249). Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. University of British Columbia.
Scott Bollens. 2013. Bounding Cities as a Means of Managing Conflict: Sarajevo, Beirut, and Jerusalem. Peacebuilding, 1(2), 186-206.
Scott Bollens. 2013. Governing Polarized Cities. In J. McEvoy, B. O'Leary (Eds.), Power-Sharing in Deeply Divided Places. (pp. 327-361). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania.
Scott Bollens. 2013. Urban Planning and Policy. In R. MacGinty (Ed.), Routledge Handbook of Peacebuilding. (pp. 375-386). Oxford and New York: Routledge.
Scott Bollens. 2013. Transformative and Counter-Hegemonic Planning Regimes: South Africa and Lebanon. In F. Chiodelli, B. De Carli, M. Falletti, L. Scavuzzo (Eds.), Cities to be Tamed? Spatial Investigations across the Urban South. Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Scott A. Bollens. 2012. City and Soul in Divided Societies. Oxford and New York: Routledge Press.
Scott A. Bollens. 2010. “Trincee in Citta: Muri, Confini, Costituzioni” (Entrenching Urban Territory: Wall, Border, Constitution). Storia Urbana (Urban History) 128: 1-27. Italian.
Scott A. Bollens. 2009. "Intervening in Politically Turbulent Cities: Spaces, Buildings, and Boundaries." Journal of Urban Technology 16, 2: 79-107.
Scott A. Bollens. 2009. “Comparative Research on Urban Political Conflict: Policy Amidst Polarization.” The Open Urban Studies Journal 2, 1-17.
Scott A. Bollens. 2008. “Human Security Through an Urban Lens.” Journal of Human Security 4, 3: 36-53.
Scott A. Bollens. 2008. "The City, Substate Nationalism, and European Governance." Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 14, 2: 189-222.
Scott A. Bollens. 2008. "Urbanism, Political Uncertainty, and Democratization. Urban Studies 45, 5/6: 1255-1289.
Scott A. Bollens. 2007. "Urban Governance at the Nationalistic Divide: Coping with Group-Based Claims. Journal of Urban Affairs 29, 3: 229-253.
Scott A. Bollens. 2007. Cities, Nationalism, and Democratization. Oxford and New York: Routledge.
Scott A. Bollens. 2006. "Urban Planning and Peace Building. Progress in Planning. 66, 2: 67-139.
Goldstein, Harvey A., Scott Bollens, Chris Silver, and Edward Feser. 2006. "An Experiment in the Internationalization of Planning Education: The NEURUS Program." Journal of Planning Education and Research 25, 3: 349-363.
Scott A. Bollens. 2003. "In Through the Back Door: Social Equity and Regional Governance." Housing Policy Debate 13, 4, 631-657. Note: A featured forum article with companion commentary articles by Myron Orfield and Mark Alan Hughes.
Guzzetta, Jacqueline D. and Scott A. Bollens. 2003. "Urban Planners' Skills and Competencies: Are We Different from Other Professions? Does Context Matter? Do We Evolve?" Journal of Planning Education and Research 23, 1: 96-106.
Scott Bollens 2018. "National Policy Agendas Encounter the City: Complexities of Political-Spatial Implementation." Urban Affairs Review. DOI: 10.1177/107808741881676
Scott A. Bollens. 2002. "Urban Planning and Inter-Group Conflict: Confronting a Fractured Public Interest." Journal of the American Planning Association 68, 1.
Scott A. Bollens. 2002. "City and Soul: Sarajevo, Johannesburg, Jerusalem, Nicosia." City: Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action 6, 1.
Scott A. Bollens. 2000. On Narrow Ground: Urban Policy and Conflict in Jerusalem and Belfast. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
Scott A. Bollens. 1999. Urban Peace-Building in Divided Societies: Belfast and Johannesburg. Boulder, CO and Oxford, UK: Westview Press.
Scott A. Bollens. 1998. "Ethnic Stability and Urban Reconstruction: Policy Dilemmas in Polarized Cities." Comparative Political Studies 31, 6: 683-713.
American Planning Association
American Political Science Association
American Institute of Certified Planners
Global Peace and Conflict Studies