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The Utility of Force in Cities: Calibrating Security and Development Tools for Urban Stability by Antonio Sampaio (International Institute for Strategic Studies)

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building Oxford, OX1 3UQ (map)

This event is open to the public and a light lunch will be served outside the seminar room at 12.50pm.

Rapid and unmanaged urbanisation is leading to protracted armed violence in key cities of the developing world. Whereas cities have historically been engines of development, unprecedented growth is overwhelming local authorities. The regions facing faster urban expansion are also some of the most fragile or violent, such as Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. As a result, governments have been experimenting with new strategies for law enforcement and stabilisation. This seminar will analyse the conduct of recent stabilisation operations within large and mega-cities, with a particular emphasis on Latin America. Cities such as Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Medellín (Colombia) have developed innovative responses involving law enforcement, military and development tools for urban security. The seminar will lay out an emerging framework for use of armed force in cities as part of an expanded concept of stabilisation.
Antônio Sampaio is the Research Associate for Security and Development at The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). He joined the Security and Development Programme after conducting research on security and foreign policies of Latin America at the IISS, with special attention to crime and guerrilla activities in the Andean region, Mexico and Brazil. His main research project at the moment involves security and stabilisation policies in cities facing protracted armed violence. Antônio has spoken in conferences and workshops in Bogotá, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília, London, Hamburg and Stockholm. His comments have been featured in several media outlets such as Foreign Policy, The Financial Times, France 24, Phoenix TV (China), El Universal (Mexico) and O Globo (Brazil). Before joining the IISS, Antônio worked for nearly five years as a writer/editor at the international desk of Globo News, part of Globo TV in Brazil.