Past Event


Riots: Understanding ‘mindless criminality’ and the poverty impacts of civil violence

3 November 2011 17:00–18:30

Chichester Lecture Theatre, University of Sussex

About the lecture

Riots have been very prominent in the news lately – as symbols of hope, revolution, despair and depravation alike. Instances of public violence have been seen as part of the people-led street-level ‘Arab Spring’ as well as the rioting in London and other cities across the UK, which were largely understood as manifestations of criminal behaviour.

While there has already been much academic reflection on why and how there are ‘flare-ups’ in public violence, much less attention has been given to public violence which is routine. A substantial proportion of the world’s urban population suffers from everyday routine insecurities, and in countries like India, which experiences close to 50,000 riots per year, public violence is a significant component of the physical insecurities faced by urban residents. Importantly, there are always significant within city variations, where the violence affects only some, not all neighbourhoods. This makes a neighbourhood-level analysis critical to fully understanding the poverty impacts of civil violence.

How and why do such riots occur? Are there patterns to how the violence unfolds, and if so, what determines those patterns? How does routine civil violence interface with state institutions? What impact does violence of this nature have on household poverty? Using data from a recent study of 45 violence prone neighbourhoods in Maharashtra, India, the lecture will aim to provide some insight into these questions

About the speaker

Jaideep Gupte is a Research Fellow and member of the Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction Team at the Institute of Development Studies, where his research is on violence, vulnerability and conflict, with a particular geographic focus on South Asia. He was formerly a Research Fellow at the Urban Design Research Institute, Mumbai. Jaideep’s areas of specialisation include (1) policing and security for development, and (2) vulnerability, violence and informal justice in urban slums. He occasionally contributes opinion pieces and reports to Indian national dailies. Jaideep’s training is in Politics (University of Oxford), Development Studies (IDS, University of Sussex), and Economics (Simon Fraser University). He has research experience in India, Bangladesh, and Nigeria.

The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception. All welcome.

For further details about the Sussex Development Lectures please contact Hannah Corbett at [email protected]