Edited by Alberto Gasparini
The first part of the book deals with political walls and how they evolve into borders, or even disappear. The second part discusses possible and actual walls between empires, and also walls which may take shape within present-day empires. The third part analyses various ways of being of walls between and within states: Berlin, the Vatican State and Italy, Cyprus, Israel and Palestine, Belfast, Northern European Countries, Gorizia and Nova Gorica, the USA and Mexico. In addition, discussion centres on a possible new Iron Curtain between the two Mediterranean shores and new and different walls within the EU. The last part of the book looks at how walls and borders change as a result of cooperation between the communities on either side of them.
The book takes on particular relevance in the present circumstances of the proliferation of walls between empires and states and within single states, but it also analyses processes of conflict and peace which come about as a result of walls.
Contributors are: Eliezer Ben-Rafael, Sigal Ben-Rafael Galanti, Melania-Gabriela Ciot, Hastings Donnan, Anneli Ute Gabanyi, Alberto Gasparini, Maria Hadjipavlou, Max Haller, Neil Jarman, Thomas Lunden, Domenico Mogavero, Alejandro Palma, Dennis Soden.
The author conducts an analysis of the theoretical dimensions of territorial belonging mainly as linked to identity in a broad sense and to community in a specific sense. The initial hypothesis is that belonging is an active feeling of attachment to something outside of self and that this something is made up of at least three elements: territory, values and social-relations. The author investigates belonging at five levels, with increasing explanatory power, allowing for its reconceptualisation. While in a closed community belonging is strongly infused with a territorial component, with values and rules and with social relations, as communities open up there is a progressive weakening of the value component and social-relations component. There remains, now unique and specific, only the territorial component of the community, and its features, however, tend to be symbolic (of spaces), emotional and sign-related. In more general terms the primary source of territorial belonging is the “cosmosemics” of the community space ‐ this term referring to the organisation of space as if to a coordinated whole of characteristics of an absolutely “true” and “necessary” universe. We may thus speak of urban, mountain, maritime and lowland cosmosemics, and so forth.