University of Notre Dame
Kroc Institutde for International Peace Studies

Latest Issue

Cities are socially constructed spaces that are constantly changing. Cities are monuments to human achievement; their buildings, infrastructure, and engineering represent history, as well as social and cultural memories. However, and more crucially, they are everyday spaces of living. Around the world, wars are increasingly likely to be fought in these everyday spaces–in residential buildings, streets, public gathering areas–pushing out the people who lived in those places or making those who remain part of the operational battlefield. The strategic and symbolic importance of cities has always made them a battleground; however, the scale and relentlessness of the city’s destruction in current wars is more recent, made possible by the level of urbanization and modern military technologies.

Reconstructing a city after war can also be violent. It may become part of a deliberate strategy of idealizing the past and preserving certain memories and histories. Recognizing and documenting the city as an intentional and purposeful site of violence in armed conflict becomes necessary for thinking about creating conditions for sustainable and meaningful peace.

In this issue of the Kroc Institute’s Peace Policy, three short essays reflect on the consequences of urban war on the city’s people and built environment. Each essay emphasizes the “magical” and everyday spaces destroyed when cities are targeted in armed conflict, and how this impacts the possibility of reconstruction and peace.

Jenna Sapiano, guest editor

who we are

Research-based insights, commentary, and solutions to the global challenge of conflict and systemic violence

our scope

Searching for Policy Solutions to Pressing Global Issues

Each issue features the writing of scholars and practitioners who work to understand the causes of violent conflict and systemic violence and who seek to contribute solutions in service of building more just and peaceful societies. 


Civil Society Peacebuilding






Peace Agreements

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Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies
University of Notre Dame
1110 Jenkins Nanovic Halls
Notre Dame, IN 46556