• Security in Niamey: an anthropological perspective on policing and an act of terrorism in Niger*

    The abduction of two Frenchmen in January 2011 in Niamey’s supposedly most secure neighbourhood has led many to question the functioning of the city’s security apparatus. This paper analyses Niamey’s security landscape, initially from an historical and then from a spatial perspective. It argues that for a comprehensive analysis of security, we must first decentre our perspective on security construction, and thus take informal non-organised modes of policing just as seriously as policing by state and vigilante organisations; and second, take into…

  • Crime and Violence Trends in Nairobi, Kenya

    This paper examines the phenomenon of youth crime in Nairobi especially in relation to youth gangs. The case pays special attention to the Mungiki movement and street families. It also examines some of the organized responses to crime of this nature. As the administrative, political and commercial capital of Kenya, Nairobi is a significant trendsetter in the country. The city holds approximately 3 million residents, 10% of the Kenyan population. An additional 1.5 million persons…

  • An urban slice of pie: the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act in South Africa

    Security of tenure had very little meaning for the vast majority of South Africans as Nelson Mandela walked out of Pollsmoor prison. Told what citizenship to have by apartheid, where to live by the Group Areas Act, liable to eviction at the whim of any landlord or security force and easily arrested for trespass, black South Africans faced often insurmountable legal obstacles in establishing their right to occupy their own land. outh Africans also found that their recently bought houses could easily be attached and sold by mortgage holders…

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