Fear has always been present in cities. However, recent events and political and social trends have intensified these insecurities and refocused very diverse anxieties on civic space. The changing role of the state through globalization, and the growth of inequalities and power conflicts over public space call for a renewed analysis of global-local conflicts, and for a theorization of the relationship between issues of space and social marginalization.
The events of 9/11 have served to galvanise the precautionary principle, increasing repression and the number of gated communities worldwide. This book analyses the diverse responses of New York, Paris, London and Mumbai to terrorism, Johannesburg and Sao Paolo to cartels of gangs and British and French cities to persistent civic unrest. These responses can be perceived as a sign of hope ; despite various constraints, cities’ immense capacity for adaptation and resilience can allow very diverse people to live together with their differences.
Sophie Body-Gendrot is Emeritus Professor at the Sorbonne and a researcher at CESDIP-CNRS. She is the author of numerous books on cities and violence, including The Social Control of Cities ? (2000) and Violence in Europe (2007). As Former President of the European Society of Criminology, she is an Expert for the European Community.