Urban violence still has a peculiar standing within social and urban research. This book works to unpack the link between urban, violence, and security with three main arguments.
The first is that urban violence is under-theorized because long-term theoretical problems with both of its elements (‘urban’ and ‘violence’).
The second is to answer these questions: (1) how can violence be conceptualized in a way that opens to an understanding of the specificity of urban violence? (2) What is the urban in urban violence? And (3) How can ‘urban’ and ‘violence’ be articulated in a way that makes urban violence a category with both analytical and strategic power?
The third, and central, argument of this book is that, through a genealogy that articulates political economic and vital materialism, urban violence can ultimately be framed as a precise category shaped by three interlocking trajectories: the process of (capitalist) urbanization, the spatio-political project of the urban, and the concrete urban atmospheres in and through which the process and the project materialize, often violently so, in the urban.
Andrea Pavoni is assistant research professor at DINAMIA’CET – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa.
Simone Tulumello is assistant research professor in geography at the University of Lisbon.
Part I: Foundations
Chapter 1: Violence
Chapter 2: Urban
Chapter 3: Security
Part II: Intersections
Chapter 4: Imaginary
Chapter 5: Urbanisation
Chapter 6: Atmosphere
Part III: Extensions
Chapter 7: Comfort
Chapter 8: Smartness
Chapter 9: Cum cura
About the Authors
A breathtaking reworking of violence, in its heterogeneous and specific expressions, as a constitutive force of reified urban fabrics, the materialization of the imaginaries of secure lives, and a fraught modality of contestation over future trajectories.
This is a hugely impressive and thought-provoking piece of work that constitutes a major intervention on urban violence. Wide-ranging, erudite, and original in scope and nature, it draws on both multi-lingual and multi-disciplinary literatures from across the Global North and South to put forward an innovative theoretical approach re-articulating the genealogical relations between violence, security, and urbanisation, at the heart of which is the novel notion of ‘urban atmospheric violence’. This key analytical lens captures the ‘turbulent’ relationality of the ontological, epistemological, and ethical dimensions of urban violence, and fundamentally challenges the conceptual reductionism of most existing analyses, thereby offering a fresh and stimulating answer to the perennially thorny question of ‘what is urban violence?'
A theoretical tour-de-force taking inspiration from vital materialism, postcolonial and queer theory as well as (post)structuralism and political economy approaches. The authors offer a comprehensive overview of theorisations of violence, the urban, and security before making a compelling case for a reconceptualization of urban violence vis-à-vis a notion of security as care. This is an inspiring book about urban violence that is as much about theory as about politics and ethics. I cannot recommend it highly enough!