Claudia De Martino: Globalizing the Levantine Cities

Globalizing the Levantine Cities over State-Boundaries: The Forerunners of Change?

Claudia De Martino

Claudia De Martino

The current research proposal is part of a broader interdisciplinary inquiry on significant aspects of postcolonial 20th-century urbanism and social history in the Levant, the southeastern Mediterranean. The overall project – which is carried out together with my colleague, the architect Alessandra Terenzi – focuses on the impact of “globalization” on the urban development of three former Levantine port-cities: Alexandria of Egypt, Tel Aviv-Yafo and Beirut. It spans the period from the inception of globalization through the 2011 Arab Springs.

The part of the research presented here focuses on the urban social systems of the three cities concerned. Its objective is to investigate the way the three cities address, from a societal perspective, the complex developmental challenges that have resulted from globalization in line or in contrast with local grassroots’ needs. The aim is to find out whether there is a common, facilitated and transnational pattern for former Levantine cities which belong to different nation-states. At the same time, it will serve as a thorough critique of the major developmental approaches adopted by international actors in the region.

Claudia De Martino is Postdoc Fellow at L’Orientale University of Naples, where she is involved in a major international research project on the Arab Springs’ citizenship rights (EUSpring), and a research fellow at UNIMED, Rome. She graduated summa cum laude from her B.A. in Contemporary History at Roma Tre University, with a thesis on the Egyptian Free Officers’ Revolution (1952-6). In 2007 she completed her MA at the University of La Sapienza in Rome with a thesis on the relationship between the Italian Communist Party and the PLO 1969-89. In 2008 she spent a study year at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, thanks to an EMU2 research scholarship, during which she wrote two studies: one on the 2006 Lebanon war and the second on Palestinian and Israeli textbooks on the 1948 war. She has also been a Visiting Fellow at the Van Leer Institute of Jerusalem in 2009 and 2010 and guest speaker in various US Universities. She has been teaching assistant at the Chair of History of Europe and the Mediterranean at the Roma Tre University. In May 2012 she obtained her PhD in Social History of the Mediterranean at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, with a thesis on the absorption of Mizrahi Jews in the 1950s and 1960s. This work has been published in Italy by Carocci (2016) and a translation is due to be published in France in 2017 (Harmattan). She contributes regularly with the Aspen Institute Italy and RAI radio international channel “Radio3Mondo”.


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