Revolt in the ‘Square’: Spatial Modelling of Urban Stability in Modern Cities New insights and approaches for preventing conflict and violence

Principal Investigator

Professor Beverley Milton-Edwards


Dr Gehan Selim

Research Institution

Queen’s University Belfast. The Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice

Project Summary

Urban revolutions have been envisaged as hybrid, unpredictable and somewhat incidental in the political arena, In some cases political instability, mass protests, riot and revolt erupts as a reaction to a particular event. Other times protest gathers momentum over time. This project looks at the emergence of urban unrest in the Middle East. It focuses on a pilot study on the Lebanese capital Beirut and Martyrs Square. This meeting place in the national capital has been a site of repeated unrest reflecting protest and dissidence in this fragile multi-confession state.


This research aims to build a multi-disciplinary partnership in the field of Politics, Architecture and Spatial modelling. It will develop platforms of spatial modelling of urban stability and acts of dissidence in light of political instability and in security in the Middle East. The research will reflect upon and facilitate an understanding of how spatial models of protest in public spaces in context against state and governing authorities can be used to contribute to violence reduction and conflict prevention. For instance the project will provide local groups and governing authorities with the tools and vision to think about protest and dissidence and strategies for preventing conflict and disorder in public spaces.

Contact Information

For further information, please email Beverley