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Social cohesion: solution or driver of urban violence?

September 28, 2016
A police officer controlling a crowd
Shaun Swingler

Social cohesion can play an important role in building and maintaining vibrant communities. But research in Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro led by South Africa’s Human Sciences Research Council and Brazil’s Laboratory for the Analysis of Violence demonstrates how social bonds and stark inequalities can also play a role in fueling violence by criminal gangs and vigilantes.

Brazil and South Africa, both middle-income countries, have high rates of violence and inequality concentrated in the poorest neighbourhoods of their cities. Policymakers are seeking violence prevention and reduction strategies that reflect their countries’ unique demographic, cultural, social, and economic realities.

Learn more about the effects of social cohesion (PDF, 201KB) and about the Safe and Inclusive Cities initiative.

Return to main page, Evidence to reduce urban violence