What is it that enables some communities and towns to resist violence in the face of significant socio-political volatility?
From the neighbourhood to the town, how do people maintain security and social order in contexts of intense stress? Urban environments can themselves generate insecurity and vulnerability as well as be drawcards for 'external' threat. In many countries of the Global South, and in the context of intensifying urbanisation, state institutions such as police and courts often have relatively weak reach into communities and are poorly funded. Despite this, many towns facing extraordinary pressures have remained relatively stable. This seminar considers how these towns go about creating social order, providing security and containing violence, and explores how new, alternative and parallel governance forms are emerging as a result of intensifying urbanisation. Elites across the Global North and the Global South have crafted various state-building and counter-insurgency responses to the South's problems. The panel will also consider how these international responses work with the challenge of urban contexts, and ask what countries of the Global North might learn from the South's experiences? The debate will draw on case studies from a global context but speak to Australian policy and practice interests.
Panel Members (subject to confirmation):
- Charles Hunt (Facilitator) RMIT
- Michael Wilson, Ass. Secretary, Governance and Fragility Branch, Development Policy Division, DFAT
- Volker Boege, University of Queensland
- Anne Brown RMIT