Big Cities: Sources of and Approaches to Urban Insecurities in Fragile Contexts

This one-day meeting brought together experts on urban insecurity to discuss the ways in which marginalization, crime, political grievance and non-state armed groups interact in the massive urban centres of the developing world, and particularly in fragile states.

A variety of sessions featured presentations, panel discussions and plenary debate on the epidemics of violent crime in certain Latin American cities, such as Caracas; the hybrid forms of organized violence in Karachi and Nairobi; the ways in which “solutions” to urban security problems are generated and marketed globally; the new approaches taken by policy-makers to extremely fragmented and violent urban environments; and the forms in which international donors may support and empower local communities in achieving better urban living conditions.

Speakers at the event included:

  • Adesoji Adeniyi, coordinator of the “Megacities” project, the Ramphal Institute
  • Enrique Betancourt, Yale World Fellow, former Director Mexico’s National Crime Prevention Centre
  • Chris van der Borgh, Associate Professor at the Centre for Conflict Studies at Utrecht University
  • David Connolly, Head of the Conflict Prevention Program, The Hague Institute for Global Justice
  • Yusuf Hassan, MP for the National Alliance and former diplomat, Kenya
  • Rivke Jaffe, University of Amsterdam, Editor The Caribbean City (2008)
  • Dirk Kruijt, Emeritus Professor Utrecht University, Co-editor Fractured Cities (2006)
  • Manuel Llorens, Psychologist and expert on marginalized urban youth, Caracas
  • Naomi van Stapele, Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, Director Duara Foundation
  • Alberto Vanolo, University of Turin, Co-author Urban Political Geographies: A Global Perspective (2011)
  • Huma Yusuf, Woodrow Wilson global Fellow, Columnist Dawn newspaper (Pakistan)

Further Reading

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This pilot project is part of the Institute's international research on City Responsibility: The Role of Municipalities in Conflict Prevention, which aims to understand how municipal…


Active: Distinguished Speaker Series

The Distinguished Speaker Series (DSS) showcases eminent practitioners in international affairs and is the centerpiece of the Institute’s high-level engagement with practitioners and academics in the city…