Reactions: The new (para-) military urbanism

Peter Lehr*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this chapter I argue that the new wave of urban guerrillas needs to be countered by appropriate counter-measures by law enforcement, paramilitary and military forces who also have to move into cities in order to defend them. I start the chapter with a more detailed introduction into the art of Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP), commenting on the difficulties of protecting our open societies against modern forms of terrorism or ‘urban guerrilla warfare’. Next, I critically discuss the two basic (ideal type) models on how to respond to the terrorist threat: the Criminal Justice Model (CJM) and the War Model (WM). Drawing on riots in a number of French banlieues (suburbs) and on the London 2011 riots, I also point out that terrorists are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the outbreak of latent conflicts in modern urban sprawls. I conclude this section with a first brief look at the question of how far liberal democracies can go in order to respond to the terrorist threat.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameAdvanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications
ISSN (Print)1613-5113
ISSN (Electronic)2363-9466


  • Criminal justice model
  • Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP)
  • Law and terrorism
  • Liberal democracies
  • Military urbanism
  • Risk management
  • War model


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