Plural Security in the City

Thursday 22 October 2015, 09:30 AM - 05:00 PM

Organized by Conflict Research Unit of Clingendael Institute and University of Amsterdam

On Thursday 22 October, the University of Amsterdam, the Conflict Research Unit of Clingendael Institute and the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law are organizing a knowledge event: Plural Security in the City, to be held at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Follow the event on Twitter via #SRoLcity, read the news item here: Who's afraid of Plural Security?, and have a look at related blog posts.


In rapidly growing cities across the Global South, an array of coercive actors offer urban populations a form of order, and in some cases act as the primary provider of local security. While some non-state actors are characterized by a level of local legitimacy, effectiveness and accessibility that exceeds state security institutions, most are unlikely to deliver long-term positive security outcomes for citizens. Local government remains an important instrument for advancing security as a public good. It is closer to citizens, more inclined toward non-coercive policy responses to insecurity, and benefits from economies of scale in achieving collective action and resource mobilization. For these reasons, the University of Amsterdam (UvA), the Conflict Research Unit of Clingendael, and the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law ('the Platform') will host a knowledge event on the potential for constructive engagement of plural security provision at the city level.


The knowledge event will offer academics, practitioners and policy makers a platform to present and discuss empirical cases of plural security provision at the city level, raising the visibility of the topic as a key issue for security in the 21st century. By provoking debate and allowing for divergence, the event will explore the current frontier of knowledge and practice on plural security provision in the city.

Confirmed contributions

Etannibi Alemika | Criminology and Sociology of Law, University of Jos
Alice Hills | School of Government and International Affairs, Durham University
Bruce Baker | Faculty of Business, Environment and Society, Coventry University
Juan Salgado Ibarra| Center for Research and Teaching in Economics, Mexico
Gregory Sloane-Seale | Program Coordinator Citizens Security Program, Trinidad & Tobago Ministry of National Security
Bianca Jinga | Department for International Development, United Kingdom
Peter Albrecht | Danish Institute for International Studies, Denmark
Gert Kampman | Stabilization and Humanitarian Aid Department, The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Rivke Jaffe | Centre for Urban Studies, University of Amsterdam


The day will consist of two sessions, bookended by keynote presentations.  The opening panel will present empirical examples of plural security provision, followed by a moderated discussion to animate debate. The afternoon session focusing on policy implications will utilize an open, interactive format enabling participants to engage directly. See the full program for further details.


The University of Amsterdam’s SECURCIT research group is based in the Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies and the program group Governance and Inclusive Development. SECURCIT’s research, funded by the European Research Council and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, studies how citizenship is being reconfigured through hybrid forms of security governance, focusing on public-private ‘security assemblages’.

The Conflict Research Unit (CRU) is a specialized team within the Clingendael Institute, based in the Hague. CRU directs its efforts toward conducting applied, policy-oriented research and developing practical tools that assist national and multilateral governmental and non-governmental organizations in their engagement in fragile and conflict-affected situations.

The Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law ('the Platform') is an initiative of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It convenes an international network of the most qualified practitioners, policy-makers, academics and private sector representatives in discussing issues of security and rule of law in fragile and conflict-affected states. It promotes knowledge exchange and identifies, defines and answers pressing research questions with the aim of underpinning Dutch development policy and its implementation; thereby contributing to its effectiveness. The Secretariat of the Platform is run jointly by The Hague Institute for Global Justice and the Conflict Research Unit.

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