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Reducing Urban Violence in the Global South: Towards Safe and Inclusive Cities

Jennifer Erin Salahub, Markus Gottsbacher, John de Boer, and Mayssam D. Zaaroura
Routledge, IDRC

Available formats

Reducing Urban Violence in the Global South seeks to identify the drivers of urban violence in the cities of the Global South and how they relate to and interact with poverty and inequalities. Drawing on the findings of an ambitious five-year, 15-project research program supported by IDRC and the UK’s Department for International Development, the book explores what works, and what doesn’t, to prevent and reduce violence in urban centres.

Cities in developing countries are often seen as key drivers of economic growth, but they are often also the sites of extreme violence, poverty, and inequality. The research in this book was developed and conducted by researchers from the Global South who work and live in the countries that were studied. It challenges many of the assumptions from the Global North of how poverty, violence, and inequalities interact in urban spaces. In so doing, the book demonstrates that accepted understandings of the causes of and solutions to urban violence developed in the Global North should not be imported into the Global South without careful consideration of local dynamics and contexts. The book concludes by considering the broader implications for policy and practice, offering recommendations for improving interventions to make cities safer and more inclusive.

The fresh perspectives and insights offered by this book will be useful to scholars and students of development and urban violence, as well as to practitioners and policymakers working on urban violence reduction programs.

The editors

Jennifer Erin Salahub is a Canadian public servant. She managed the Safe and Inclusive Cities initiative, a global research program jointly funded by IDRC and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development. (Photo credit: Kym Shumsky)                         


Markus Gottsbacher was a senior program specialist with the Governance and Justice programme at the International Development Research Centre for almost 13 years. He is currently coordinating the Consolidation of the Criminal Justice System in Mexico project of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.


John de Boer is managing director of the SecDev Group.



Mayssam D. Zaaroura is the women’s rights knowledge specialist at Oxfam Canada.