The Politics of Urban Exclusion and Violence in the Global South

Edited by Kees Koonings and Dirk Kruijt


'Megacities' around the world are becoming the scene for deprivation and exclusion. This book examines world-wide trends in poverty, social exclusion, and urban violence.
For the first time in history, the majority of the world's population lives in cities, the result of a rapid process of urbanization that started in the second half of the twentieth century. 'Megacities' around the world are rapidly becoming the scene for deprivation, especially in the global South, and the urban excluded face the brunt of what in many cases seems like low-intensity warfare.

Featuring case studies from across the globe, including Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, Megacities examines recent worldwide trends in poverty and social exclusion, urban violence and politics, and links these to the challenges faced by policy-makers and practitioners.

Author Bio

Kees Koonings is Associate Professor of Development Studies and Latin American Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Utrecht University. He has published on development issues, ethnicity, the military, democracy and violence in Latin America. He has previously co-edited Societies of Fear (1999), Political Armies (2002), Armed Actors (2004) and Fractured Cities (2007). His current research interests include the armed conflict and peace processes in Colombia, and social mobilization and citizenship in Brazil.

Dirk Kruijt is Honorary Professor of Development Studies at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences of Utrecht University. He has published on social exclusion, poverty and Informalisation, military dictatorship, guerrilla movements, civil wars and ethnic conflicts, peace negotiations and post-war reconstruction. He has previously co-edited Societies of Fear (1999), Political Armies (2002), Armed Actors (2004) and Fractured Cities (2007) and published Guerrillas (2008) with Zed Books.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • 1. The Rise of Megacities and the Urbanization of Informality, Exclusion and Violence - Dirk Kruijt & Kees Koonings
  • Part I: The Social Dynamics of Exclusion and Violence in Megacities
    • 2. From Popular Movements to Drug Gangs to Militias: An Anatomy of Violence in Rio de Janeiro by Robert Gay
    • 3. Megacity's Violence and its Consequences in Rio de Janeiro by Janice Perlman
    • 4. Coping with Urban Violence: State and Community Responses to Crime and Insecurity in Guayaquil, Ecuador by Caroline Moser
    • 5. Middle Eastern Megacities: Social Exclusion, Popular Movements and the Quiet Encroachment of the Urban Poor by Asef Bayat
  • Part II: Political and Policy Dimensions of Urban Exclusion and Violence
    • 6. Urban Governance and the Paradox of Conflict by Jo Beall
    • 7. Shoot the Citizen, Save the Customer: Participatory Budgeting and Bare Citizenship in Porto Alegre, Brazil by Sérgio Gregório Baierle
    • 8. Crisis of the State, Violence in the City by Mariano Aguirre
    • 9. Urban Exclusion and the (False) Assumptions of Spatial Policy Reform in South Africa by Susan Parnell and Owen Crankshaw
  • Conclusions: Governing Exclusion and Violence in Megacities by Kees Koonings & Dirk Kruijt


'Provides a compelling, and at times devastating, appraisal of contemporary evidence about the social, political and economic exclusion of the poor urban majority in the global south.'
Dr Deborah Potts, King's College London.

'A useful academic insertion into discussions in the development community about poverty alleviation and good governance in the so-called megacities of the Global South.'
Garth Myers, University of Kansas


Publication Date: 10 December 2009
208 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781848132962
eBook ePub: 9781848137318
eBook PDF: 9781848134904
eBook Kindle: 9781780327037
Library Edition: 9781848132955

Why is peer review so important?

Learn more about the various types of peer review, why it’s so important, what the social and political considerations of peer review are and how we use it at Zed Books.