Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)

Governing and Ordering Urban Spaces: The Circulation and Translation of Security Models in Southern African Cities

23Nov2017 15:00 - 18:00


The past decades witnessed the rapid expansion of private security in Southern African cities in a context of post-apartheid, democratic transitions. Drawing on different debates – the pluralisation of policing and “urban policy mobility” – the lecture by Dr. Elisabeth Peyroux (CNRS) focuses on the circulation of security governance models and their translation in four cities (Johannesburg, Cape Town, Windhoek and Maputo).

It takes a multistakeholder, multiscalar perspective on specific neighbourhood-based solutions to security issues, such as road closures, gated residential developments and Business Improvement Districts. The spatial spreading of these models has brought up significant shifts in the ways in which urban space is being controlled, used and shared. Such developments have an impact on urban forms, spatial practices, but also and especially on social relations, the internal dynamics of communities and the relationship between citizens and state. The comparative analysis shows how the issue of control over local space, heavily linked to security matters, and community identities, is an object of competing legitimacies.

This lecture is part of the International Development Studies Lecture Series: Conflict, Security, and Development, offered by the Department of Human Geography, Planning, and International Development of the University of Amsterdam.


Room REC JK1.05,
J/K Building
Valckenierstraat 65-67
1018 XE Amsterdam

Published by  AISSR