1st Edition

Social Theories of Urban Violence in the Global South Towards Safe and Inclusive Cities

    220 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    242 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    While cities often act as the engines of economic growth for developing countries, they are also frequently the site of growing violence, poverty, and inequality. Yet, social theory, largely developed and tested in the Global North, is often inadequate in tackling the realities of life in the dangerous parts of cities in the Global South. Drawing on the findings of an ambitious five-year, 15-project research programme, Social Theories of Urban Violence in the Global South offers a uniquely Southern perspective on the violence–poverty–inequalities dynamics in cities of the Global South.

    Through their research, urban violence experts based in low- and middle-income countries demonstrate how "urban violence" means different things to different people in different places. While some researchers adopt or adapt existing theoretical and conceptual frameworks, others develop and test new theories, each interpreting and operationalizing the concept of urban violence in the particular context in which they work. In particular, the book highlights the links between urban violence, poverty, and inequalities based on income, class, gender, and other social cleavages.

    Providing important new perspectives from the Global South, this book will be of interest to policymakers, academics, and students with an interest in violence and exclusion in the cities of developing countries.

    Preface Caroline Moser 

    Introduction: Global South theories of urban violence, poverty, and inequalities Jennifer Erin Salahub, John de Boer, and Markus Gottsbacher 

    Part 1 Gendered Violences 

    1. Intersections of gender, mobility and violence in urban Pakistan Nausheen H. Anwar, Sarwat Viqar and Daanish Mustafa 

    2. Men in the city: changing gender relations and masculinities in Maputo, Mozambique Esmeralda Mariano, Henny Slegh, and Sílvia Roque 

    3. "We don’t know when the trucks will come": the quest for safe and inclusive cities in Zimbabwe Julie Stewart and Rosalie Katsande, with Olga Chisango and Sian Maseko 

    Part 2 State Violence 

    4. The state, violence, and everydayness: some insights from Delhi Manoj Bandan Balsamanta and Bhim Reddy 

    5. Urban community profiles: safe relocation and resettlement in post-war Sri Lanka Danesh Jayatilaka, Rajith W. D. Lakshman, and Iresha M. Lakshman 

    Part 3 Exclusion and Violences 

    6. Violence and social exclusion in urban contexts in Central America Rodolfo Calderón Umaña 

    7. Social disorganisation and neighbourhood effects in Latin America: insights and limitations Enrique Desmond Arias and Ximena Tocornal Montt  

    8. Urban poverty and institutions in Venezuela Roberto Briceño-León 

    Part 4 Interpersonal Violence 

    9. Understanding Côte d’Ivoire’s "Microbes": the political economy of a youth gang Francis Akindès 

    10. Preventing violence in Cape Town: the public-health approach Sam Lloyd and Richard Matzopoulos 

    Conclusion ─ New perspectives on lasting solutions John de Boer, Jennifer Erin Salahub, and Markus Gottsbacher


    Jennifer Erin Salahub managed the Safe and Inclusive Cities initiative, a global research programme jointly funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development.

    Markus Gottsbacher is senior programme specialist with the Governance and Justice programme at the International Development Research Centre.

    John de Boer is managing director of the SecDev Group.

    "This impressive new collection by Salahub, Gottsbacher, and de Boer sheds light on the causes and consequences of urban violence in more than 40 low- and middle-income cities around the world. The volume takes an original approach, mobilizing theories, concepts and methods tailored to the realities of the Global South. The editors have assembled a talented and inter-disciplinary cast of scholars from Africa, Asia and the Americas. In the process, they have laid a forward-looking agenda that will drive debate and action toward making cities safer and more secure."Robert Muggah, Co-Founder and Research Director, Instituto Igarapé, Brazil

    "We desperately need a book focused on urban violence in the global South that calls attention to theory while also raising questions about the value of paradigms imported from the global North to account for this explosion of chronic violence. This is precisely that book. Through a series of grounded accounts from leading scholars of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, this edited volume documents the social, institutional, and spatial conditions in cities of the global South and reveals how these dynamics problematize the application of theories drawn from the United States and Europe. A key finding is that unique patterns of rapid urbanization, socio-spatial exclusion, and weak governance capacities combine to produce patterns of violence that cannot be explained by poverty alone. Through special attention to gender dynamics and inter-personal norms and networks, among other factors, we begin to grasp the systemic and structural nature of urban violence. Such findings further justify the urgent need to identify new action strategies to address the scourge of violence that is destroying lives, neighborhoods, and cities across large swathes of the world."Diane E. Davis, Charles Dyer Norton Professor of Urbanism Regional and Planning, Harvard University, USA

    "As rates of urban violence burgeon across the world, especially in its poorer regions, there is a real need to know more about this and the associated processes from the perspective of those living through it. Social Theories of Urban Violence in the Global South: Towards Safe and Inclusive Cities does just that in a wonderfully engaging way drawing on cases from cities across Latin America, South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Explicitly avoiding the imposition of Northern conceptualising, the book provides fresh and exciting insights shaped by grounded local theorising. This feeds directly into highlighting the importance of identifying lasting solutions to urban violence rooted in local realities. This book therefore speaks in an exceptionally clear voice to researchers, students and policy-makers alike about the complex, gendered, lived realities of experiencing urban violence in cities of the global South. It will, without doubt, become core reading for these constituencies."Cathy McIlwaine, Professor of Development Geography, Kings College, London, UK