Population, Poverty, and Politics in Middle East Cities

Population, Poverty, and Politics in Middle East Cities

Population, Poverty, and Politics in Middle East Cities

Population, Poverty, and Politics in Middle East Cities

Synopsis

"Comprehensively and knowledgeably addresses uniquely modern dilemmas of urban places in the Middle East.... A very important volume". -- Janet L. Bauer, Trinity College, Hartford

Excerpt

Cities in the Middle East are in crisis. With burgeoning urban populations that double every twelve to fifteen years, conditions of cities and their residents continue to worsen, particularly in the large metropolises and primate capitals. Pollution, poor sanitation, ill health, inadequate water, sewage, and transportation systems, collapsing housing, slums and shantytowns, and inadequate government responses are only some of the problems they face. This collection of essays examines many of these issues using the triad of population, poverty, and politics as its framework. These themes encompass the essence of the urban crisis, even though it has so many facets that a single volume cannot do justice to the topic. However, the problems of cities and urbanites have been ignored in the literature on the Middle East, and these essays will contribute to an understanding of the crisis as well as provide specific case studies and examples.

The chapters are arranged in four major sections, in addition to introductory and concluding essays. The introductory overview places the urbanization of the Middle East in the perspective of urbanization in the developing world, as well as previewing subsequent chapters in terms of the principal themes of the book. The first group of essays concerns aspects of municipal government and urban planning, including the problems of conserving an urban past as well as historic city centers. The second set focuses on poverty and marginalization of the population, although this significant theme is applicable in some ways to most of the chapters. The third section looks at health and gender in the urban environment, specifically nutrition, motherhood pressures, and abortion. The last section analyzes the responses to the problems of . . .

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