Lind, J. and Mitchell, B.
IDS Policy Briefing 37
Understanding and tackling violence that occurs outside of armed conflict settings is essential to improving the wellbeing of some of the world’s poorest communities.
Whilst advances have been made in terms of designing policies that address violence in fragile or conflict-affected countries, progress has been slower in relation to dealing with violence happening outside of these settings.
New forms of violence, such as organised crime and political instability, often arise in states which have undergone rapid economic growth and social transformation. These forms of violence are difficult to address because they are part of the very structures and processes that drive and shape development.
Fresh approaches are required. They need to be driven by communities, civil society and young people, as well as the state and international donors. They must also be underpinned by a better understanding of how violence affects the poor and what works in terms of interventions.
Phi Beta Iota: Academia, the think tanks, and governments, are largely incoherent. Terrorism is not a threat and violence is not something to be “handled,” it is something to be respected as symptomatic of grievious shortfalls in government legitimacy, government services, and general equality among citizens. Everything is connected. When 22 veterans a day are committing suicide successfull, you do not “handle” that — you have to resolve to never again put the veterans in a position of such terrible cognitive dissonance. Absent a shared strategic analytic model and full transparency of costs and transactions, it is not possible to “handle” violence.