Understanding the tipping point of urban conflict: violence, cities, and poverty reduction in the developing world

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Photo: Austcare - World Humanitarian Aid/Flickr licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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Urban violence is an increasingly significant global phenomenon. Over the past few years, a conventional wisdom has emerged within policy and research circles associating it with four key factors: poverty; youthful populations; the failure to consider women’s safety as a specific concern; and the local-level absence of the state. Taken together, these different factors have underpinned a range of policy interventions in a variety of contexts. Urban violence has nevertheless continued to proliferate, suggesting that the conventional wisdom underlying such violence-reduction interventions may be flawed.

The proposed research project aims to re-think conventional assumptions and offer new insights into the determinants of urban violence, including in particular identifying context-specific circumstances under which everyday urban conflict becomes violent. The study will focus on four specific cities in Asia, Africa, and Latin America: Dili (Timor Leste), Patna (India), Nairobi (Kenya), and Santiago (Chile). A key hypothesis is that urban conflict "tips" into overt violence principally as a result of qualitatively-specific "violence chains" rather than the quantitative factors. The project therefore aims to identify entry points to break linkages in these chains and foster new violence-reduction strategies both within poor urban communities and at the metropolitan level.

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Themes: 
Grant Reference: 
ES/H033475/1
RES-167-25-0483
Project Status: 
Closed
Grant Category: 
Research Grant
Lead Organisation Department: 
Environment, Education and Development
Fund Start Date: 
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Fund End Date: 
Friday, August 31, 2012
Fund Currency Code: 
GBP
Fund Value: 
459194
armed-violence
civil-war
community-social-capital
gang-crime-drug-related-violence
gender-power-relations
gendered-violence
inequality
land-tenure
local-governance
organisation-of-space
policing
political-economy-
political-exclusion
poverty
poverty-violence-nexus
safety-and-security
slums
urban-communities
urban-planning
urban-violence
violence-chains
Violence-in-cities
youth-bulges
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