Many have raised questions about the issue of divided cities, such as Chicago, where much discussion is framed in the evolving context of a dynamic quantitative ecology (see Byrne, 1995; Byrne, 1984; Morenoff & Tienda, 1997). They argue that cities are becoming polarised spaces in which the divided social pattern is understood as a process carried out over time. Seen in this way, some cities have exhibited a detailed pattern of differentiation, defined by ethnicity and race (Madanipour et al., 1998; Hamnett, 1996). Accordingly, these differences are central to the dividing lines in social-spatial structures, giving rise to the way by which culture and kinship actually develops. This paper concentrates on cases of partitioned cities that are overwhelmed by political and military factors, giving rise to the particular shape and character of their landscape. Examples are drawn from the east Mediterranean area: the cities of Jerusalem, Beirut and Nicosia. These cities demonstrate the structural instability of fragmented institutional cultures in dramatic political instability.