Security in the city: Experiences of security pluralism in urban Africa

Tessa Diphoorn (Utrecht University)
Megan Price, Senior Research Fellow, Clingendael Institute Conflict Research Unit
Start time:
30 June, 2017 at 9:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

The panel will explore how the phenomenon of urbanization, and particularly informal urbanization, relates to the provision and governance of security, and consider options for fostering more impartial, inclusive and responsive modes.

Long abstract:

Conventional security research focuses overwhelmingly on access issues from the perspective of rural populations removed from state services, foregrounding the state as an ideal provider. Rapid growth and informality mean that urban Africans are now among those citizens least able to rely upon state-authorized security, necessitating a reliance on plural provision. The panel will explore the complex intersections between state-authorized and non-state-authorized actors, and the varied terrains on which pluralism is constructed and instantiated. The panel will engage with means by which to foster more accountable, inclusive, and responsive forms of security provision and governance. It will focus particularly on how modes of security provision and governance are transplanted and adapted as rural dwellers migrate to the cities; how these new urban modes of security provision and governance are entangled with the rural practices from which they emanate; and the implications for the security outcomes experienced by both urban and rural citizens.