[TimorLesteStudies] New publication: URBAN VIOLENCE IN AN URBAN VILLAGE: A Case Study of Dili, Timor-Leste

Bu Wilson bu.wilson at anu.edu.au
Thu Oct 21 07:35:02 EST 2010

 Edited by Robert Muggah
 To download this publication, please go to:
 Over the past six decades Dili has seen sudden outbursts of collective  armed violence on numerous occasions, characterized by elevated homicide  rates (including revenge killings), severe and widespread trauma, the  degradation of infrastructure, forced and opportunistic migration, land  grabs and disputes, and a widespread sense of social injustice and  impunity.
 This Geneva Declaration Working Paper reviews the causes and symptoms of  urban violence in Dili, Timor-Leste, with a special focus on historical  developments that have shaped current violence dynamics and risk  factors. Based on a randomized household survey, focus group interviews,  and an extensive literature review, it argues that the city’s  history—as well as its complex political, economic, and social ties with  the surrounding rural areas—are crucial to understanding the factors  that shape urban violence in Dili.
 Among the study’s specific findings:
   - Each outbreak of collective urban violence has contributed to the progressive militarization of Timorese society.
 - Urban violence in Dili can quickly and unexpectedly shift from interpersonal to collective.
 - Government interventions to deter urban violence tend to be short  term, relying on coercive and security-led interventions, rather than  preventative.
 - ‘Urban’ violence in Dili is often fundamentally connected to grievances in rural areas, and vice versa. 
 - Dili should be understood as an ‘urban village’—a set of  interconnected and clustered villages acting as extensions of rural  communities in an urbanized setting.

 ‘Urban Violence in an Urban Village’ is a publication of the  Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development project.  The study  was supported by the Australian Government's Overseas Aid Programme  (AUSAID) and actionaid.
 Further information about the Geneva Declaration, its activities, and publications is available at www.genevadeclaration.org.
 The Geneva Declaration Secretariat is hosted by the Small Arms Survey – www.smallarmssurvey.org. 

Dr Bu V.E. Wilson
T: Australia +61  0  407 087 086
T: Timor-Leste + 670 744 0011
E: buvewilson at gmail.com

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