Caught in the Crossfire: Urban Violence, Inside and Out

An event hosted by LSE Cities

This workshop examined both the temporality and spatiality of urban violence. It sought to highlight the location of violence in urban space, from the street to the square, from the workplace to the home, and from the margins to the center. It also aimed to examine the position of violence in urban time, from past to future, from night to day, and from chronic to intermittent. The discussion will explore how the spatial and temporal dimensions of urban violence organise both the experience of violence as well as attempts to negotiate, reduce, or prevent it. How violence shapes processes of urbanisation and practices of everyday urban life is a question that will be examined across a range of contexts.

The Urban Uncertainty workshop series is an integral part of LSE Cities’ collaborative investigation into emerging ways of envisioning and governing the future of cities. Each session focuses on a different dimension of urban uncertainty, from health and housing to crime and climate, and brings together scholars from a handful of disciplines whose work converges on common themes. Events are open to the public but are kept deliberately small in order to encourage focused conversation.

Event materials


    Javier Auyero

    Javier Auyero is the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long in Latin American Sociology at the University of Texas-Austin. His main areas of research, writing, and teaching are urban poverty, political ethnography, and collective violence. He is the author of a number of books including Poor People’s Politics (2000), Patients of the State (2012), and, together with Débora Swistun, Flammable (2009).

    Jaideep Gupte

    Jaideep Gupte is Fellow of the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex. His primary research is on urban violence, poverty and development. Other research interests and expertise include micro-level politics and economics of informal justice/security in slums, and using GIS/GPS aided mobile data collection platforms for spatial research.

    Danny Hoffman

    Danny Hoffman is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Washington (Seattle, USA). His research in West Africa focuses on young men's labor on and off the region's battlefields. He is the author of The War Machines, an ethnography of militia movements in Sierra Leone and Liberia

    Marta Magalhães Wallace

    Marta Magalhães Wallace is a Research Associate in Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. Her research interests include political economy, violence, cities and space, ethnography of the state, crisis, gender, and social theory in Latin America and Europe.

    Wendy Pullan

    Wendy Pullan is Professor of Architecture and Urban Studies and Head of the Department of Architecture at the University of Cambridge. For ten years she was Principal Investigator for the ESRC Large Grants project 'Conflict in Cities and the Contested State’. She now directs the Centre for Urban Conflicts Research. Her recent publications include: Locating Urban Conflicts (2013) and The Struggle for Jerusalem’s Holy Places (2013). She is a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge. Further details:

    Dennis Rodgers

    Dennis Rodgers is Professor of Urban Social and Political Research at the University of Glasgow. A social anthropologist by training, his work focuses on the interdisciplinary study of urban development issues, in particular those relating to conflict and violence. He has carried out primary research in Nicaragua, Argentina, and India.

    Gareth Jones

    Gareth Jones is Professor of Urban Geography at LSE. He has conducted research on both practices and representation of urban space in Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, India, Ghana and South Africa. He has most recently edited (with Dennis Rodgers) Youth Violence in Latin America: Gangs and Juvenile Justice in Perspective and soon to come is a co-authored book entitled Bringing Youth into Development. His recent ethnographic work has been with street youth in Mexico

    Austin Zeiderman

    Austin Zeiderman is an interdisciplinary scholar who specializes in the cultural and political dimensions of cities, with a specific focus on Latin America. He holds a PhD in Anthropology from Stanford University as well as a Master of Environmental Science degree from Yale University. His book, Endangered City: The Politics of Security and Risk in Bogotá (2016, Duke UP), focuses on how security and risk shape the relationship between citizens and the state in the self-built settlements of the urban periphery. Austin is also beginning a new research project on urban, environmental, and infrastructural transformations motivated by the promise of a post-conflict future in Colombia.