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.

chapter |12 pages


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

part I|50 pages

Gendered violences

chapter 1|17 pages

Intersections of gender, mobility, and violence in urban Pakistan

ByNausheen H. Anwar, Sarwat Viqar, Daanish Mustafa

chapter 2|17 pages

Men in the city

Changing gender relations and masculinities in Maputo, Mozambique
ByEsmeralda Mariano, Henny Slegh, Sílvia Roque

chapter 3|14 pages

“We don’t know when the trucks will come”

The quest for safe and inclusive cities in Zimbabwe
ByJulie Stewart, Rosalie Katsande, Olga Chisango, Sian Maseko

part II|34 pages

State violence

chapter 4|14 pages

The state, violence, and everydayness

Some insights from Delhi
ByManoj Bandan Balsamanta, Bhim Reddy

chapter 5|18 pages

Urban community profiles

Safe relocation and resettlement in post-war Sri Lanka
ByDanesh Jayatilaka, Rajith W. D. Lakshman, Iresha M. Lakshman

part III|62 pages

Exclusion and violences

chapter 6|22 pages

Violence and social exclusion in urban contexts in Central America

ByRodolfo Calderón Umaña

chapter 7|18 pages

Social disorganisation and neighbourhood effects in Latin America

Insights and limitations
ByEnrique Desmond Arias, Ximena Tocornal Montt

chapter 8|20 pages

Urban poverty and institutions in Venezuela

ByRoberto Briceño-León

part IV|55 pages

Interpersonal violence

chapter 9|22 pages

Understanding Côte d’Ivoire’s “Microbes”

The political economy of a youth gang
ByFrancis Akindès

chapter 10|25 pages

Preventing violence in Cape Town

The public-health approach
BySam Lloyd, Richard Matzopoulos

chapter |6 pages


New perspectives on lasting solutions
ByJohn de Boer, Jennifer Erin Salahub, Markus Gottsbacher