Professor of Planning, Policy and Design; Warmington Chair in Peace and International Cooperation

Ph.D. University of North Carolina, AICP
(949) 824-7696
226B SEI



politically divided cities, ethnic/group disparities and urban planning, urban and intergovernmental growth policy

Curriculum Vitae: 


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 21 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. Recent books include 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).

In 2015-2016, Bollens spent 7 months in Jerusalem and Belfast working on his current project, Trajectories of Urban Conflict: Jerusalem and Belfast 1994-2016 which examines the intersection over time of national political peacemaking and urban spatial peacebuilding. Anticipated publication date for this current book project is late 2017.


Prof. Bollens has written four books, more than 35 journal articles and book chapters in leading venues over the past 20 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 

London School of Economics and Political Science, Crisis States Research Centre

Canada Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

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

Van Leer Institute, Jerusalem


Prof. Bollens' City and Soul in Divided Societies (published September 2011 by Routledge Press) is available through Amazon and Routledge Press

(Use code ERJ78 for 20 percent discount)

This book focuses on the historical, theoretical, and practical issues of urban divisions, but also uniquely provides a first-person account of conducting interview-based ethnography in these places of ethnic and nationalist polarization. The book puts forth facts, opinions, photographs, and observations in ways that bring to life the substantial challenges of living in, and governing, polarized and unsettled cities.

The book is written for both general readers and for academic specialists, combining ethnographic and first-person material with more scholarly research. It is more loosely written and essay in format than traditional scholarly books, but more rigorous and documented than a purely journalistic treatment. I wrote this book because secondary data collection and recounting of interview material can present solid portrayals of these cities, yet ones marred still by certain superficiality in treatment. Explaining what it was like living and working in these cities—going inside the head of the researcher—extends the reader’s understanding and connects more intimately with lived experiences.



Web links to research on divided cities:

Bollens research webpage



Selected Publications

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 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: 169-187.

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.

Scott A. Bollens. 1998. "Uncovering the Urban Dimension in Nationalistic Conflict: Jerusalem and Belfast Compared." Terrorism and Political Violence 10, 1: 1-38.

Scott A. Bollens. 1998. "Urban Planning Amidst Ethnic Conflict: Jerusalem and Johannesburg." Urban Studies 35, 4: 729-50.

Scott A. Bollens. 1998. "Urban Policy in Ethnically Polarized Societies." International Political Science Review 19, 2: 187-215.

Scott A. Bollens. 1997. "Concentrated Poverty and Metropolitan Equity Strategies." Stanford Law and Policy Review. 8, 2: 11-23.

Scott A. Bollens. 1997. "Fragments of Regionalism: The Limits of Southern California Governance." Journal of Urban Affairs 19, 1: 105-122.

Scott A. Bollens. 1993. "Restructuring Land Use Governance." Journal of Planning Literature. 7, 3: 211-226.

Scott A. Bollens. 1992. "State Growth Management: Intergovernmental Frameworks and Policy Objectives." Journal of the American Planning Association 58, 4: 454-466.

Scott A. Bollens. 1990. "Constituencies for Limitation and Regionalism: Approaches to Growth Management." Urban Affairs Quarterly 26, 1: 46-67.

Scott A. Bollens. 1988. "Municipal Decline and Inequality in American Suburban Rings: 1960?1980." Regional Studies 22, 4: 277-285.

Scott A. Bollens and David R. Godschalk. 1987. "Tracking Land Supply for Growth Management." Journal of the American Planning Association 53, 3: 315-327.

Scott A. Bollens. 1986. "A Political-Ecological Analysis of Income Inequality in the Metropolitan Area." Urban Affairs Quarterly 22, 2: 221-241.


Last updated: Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 5:40pm