Working Paper

The Agency and Governance of Urban Battlefields: How Riots Alter Our Understanding of Adequate Urban Living

Published on 3 September 2012

The central argument in this paper is that violent urban spaces have a profound impact on how safety and security are understood by the state as well as the urban poor, thereby redefining the parameters of adequate urban living. This paper looks in detail at how the 1992-1993 riots in Mumbai unfolded in group of inner-city neighbourhoods, and find that specific acts of brutality and violence during the riots continue to shape current understandings of the safe city? In doing so, it was also found that the nature and form of informal urban space affects the mechanics by which the state endeavours to control violence, while individual acts of public violence function as markers that legitimate the use of, and reliance on, extralegal forms of security provision.


Jaideep Gupte

Research Fellow

Publication details

published by
Gupte, J.
HiCN Working Paper, issue 122


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