The March 2016 edition of South African Crime Quarterly is a special edition dedicated to exploring the role of social cohesion and collective efficacy in addressing violence in cities in the global south.
Social cohesion is a broad concept but generally refers to the factors that ‘hold a society together’. Collective efficacy looks at how these ties can prevent violence when they are translated into collective action at the neighbourhood level.
Rapid urbanisation in the developing world is thought to exacerbate and concentrate the linkages between poverty, inequality and violence in rapidly expanding cities. It has been hypothesised that weak social cohesion increases the risk that violence will occur, while strong social cohesion can act as a protective factor preventing violence.
Thus far, however, there has been little empirical research on social cohesion and its relationship to violence in the global south.
This edition includes articles that present research findings on these issues. It locates itself within a growing body of intellectual and policy engagement on safety in rapidly growing cities in the global south.
Chandré Gould (editor) and Vanessa Barolsky (guest editor)
Making sense of the duality of social cohesion
Chandre Gould, Vanessa Barolsky
- To be a somebody: Probing roots of community in District Six
- Is social cohesion relevant to a city in the global south? A case study of Khayelitsha township
Vanessa Emma Barolsky
- Pervasive, but not politicised: everyday violence, local rule and party popularity in a township in Cape Town
Laurence Piper and Joanna Wheeler
- Facilitating or hindering social cohesion? The impact of the Community Work Programme in selected South African townships
Malose Langa, Themba Masuku, David Bruce, Hugo van der Merwe
- Pulling us apart? The association between fear of crime and social cohesion in South Africa
Benjamin J. Roberts, Steven L. Gordon
- Comfortably cosmopolitan? How patterns of 'social cohesion' vary with crime and fear
Anine Kriegler, Mark Shaw