In the twenty-fi rst century the world seems awash with ethnic, racial, and religious hatreds and confl icts. Communities are said to be in tension and contention; peoples argue, bicker, and compete with other peoples. Pundits and scholars scribble endlessly on the nature, causes, and consequences of such disputes. Indeed, group confl ict-often ending in mayhem and murder-seems like a natural state of affairs, a default human condition. The Hobbesian situation appears especially prevalent in cities. As different sorts of people-who are often unequal in terms of power and wealth-live in propinquity, urban areas are rife with minor miscommunication and mass mobilization. The received assumption is that difference and inequality generate misunderstanding and confl ict: the larger and more complex the urban demographics, the greater and more intense the group confl icts appear to be.