Australian Institute of Criminology

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Perspectives on threats to peace and local social order in Europe

74 Leichhardt Street, Griffith ACT
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM 12 April 2010

Professor Sophie Body-Gendrot

Presentation overviewProfessor Sophie Body-Gendrot

What has been learned from almost three decades of urban violence in disadvantaged neighbourhoods? The forms of violence male youth express in such areas convey representations frequently carried by the media. Places, and potentially violent actors, are both perceived as risks. Risks rather than feelings of insecurity are what governments want to anticipate. The questions that our era has to confront have not been confronted before. What resources do large cities have to deal with the major risks and threats in our current times of global uncertainty?

All over Europe, since 11 September 2001, a noticeable change has been observed among national and local governments advocating principles of precaution and strict policies of identification, surveillance and repression of suspects. A new regime order prevails in Europe giving legitimacy to policies of order (the development of CCTV and the privatisation of public spaces) at the expense of some people's liberties. Such regimes' aims are the securing of territories and the detection of suspects. But the task being endless, urban governance is taking a leadership role on many aspects, a major one being inclusiveness as a condition of security supported by a preventative approach.

The presenter

Sophie Body-Gendrot, PhD is Professor of political science and American studies and the founder and Director of the Center of Urban Studies at the Sorbonne. She has lectured throughout Europe and in the United States.

She is the author (or editor) of:

  • Violence in Europe: Historical and contemporary perspectives
  • Social Capital and Social Citizenship
  • La La société américaine après le 11 septembre
  • Villes: La fin de la violence?
  • The social control of cities?
  • The Urban Moment; and Ville et violence.

She has also published over 100 scholarly articles on urban violence and unrest in Europe and the United States and on urban politics. She is a member of the French National Police/Civilian Review Commission and the current President of the European Society of Criminology.

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