The Network

We are an interdisciplinary, global research network of scholars and public sector researchers working on urban violence. Our goal is to connect researchers, organise workshops, create collaboration opportunities among network members, and increase the visibility of our members’ work.

Who can join?

If you are a researcher working on urban violence or related issues (e.g., criminal violence, police violence, or the war on drugs), feel free to join our network by signing up here. Please note that we can only approve your membership if you are researching clearly related issues.

We particularly seek a membership that reflects the diversity of research, researchers, and global contexts associated with this subject, and warmly welcome applications from every continent. A key aim is to foster greater exchange between scholars, policy-makers and practitioners. We believe that this critical topic is in need of such a broad dialogue. For this reason, the network is open to researchers in the public sector (e.g. police and government). This is part of our effort to welcome different and even opposing viewpoints as part of a mutually constructive debate.

Help us promote your work

Do you have a new publication that would be of interest to our members?
Are you announcing a call for papers or organising a conference panel?
Get in touch with us at info@urbanviolence.org and let us know!
We’re keen to promote new research on urban violence and stimulate greater discussion between academics, public sector researchers, policy-makers and practitioners.


Kieran Mitton is Reader in Conflict, Security and Development at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, where he is also Research Director of the Conflict Security & Development Research Group (CSDRG). His current research explores drivers of urban violence in Brazil, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa and the UK, and evaluates contrasting public health and securitised interventions. He cofounded the Urban Violence Research Network in 2018.

Zoha Waseem Zoha Waseem is an Assistant Professor in Criminology at the Department of Sociology, University of Warwick. She holds a PhD from the Department of War Studies, King’s College London. She teaches in the areas of critical criminology and policing. She is currently researching postcolonial policing, with a focus on Pakistan, as well as police institutional culture, the politics of police reforms, police-migrant relations, urban securitisation, and the criminalisation of dissent and resistance. She tweets @ZohaWaseem.

Andrea Varsori is a Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Huddersfield. He holds a PhD from the Department of War Studies, King’s College London. His research explores the evolution of urban armed groups and uncovers the links between their resilience and changes in their structure, relations, and territoriality. His current focus is on the cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo in Brazil. 

Research Blog Manager

DSC_0007_editedCatharine Helmers holds an MA with Distinction in International Conflict Studies from the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, where her research examined the impact of social and emotional factors on atrocities within the context of sub-Saharan African civil wars. She is interested more broadly in issues of genocide, violence against civilians, post-conflict memorialization, and the climate-conflict nexus.

Network Assistant

Ribka Metaferia is a PhD researcher at the Department of War Studies at King’s College London and former research programme officer for the College’s School of Security Studies. Her PhD research explores the effects of linking ethnicity and territory on interethnic relations and spatial productions in federal Ethiopia’s chartered cities, Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa.

Assistant Editors

Raúl Zepeda Gil is a PhD Candidate in the Defence Studies Department at King’s College London. He studied political science both in the National Autonomous University of Mexico and El Colegio de México. He is currently researching youth mobilisation into the Mexican Drug War. He has published on the political economy of the Mexican Drug War, sociology of armed groups, civil-military relations, and peacekeeping.

Nicholas Pope is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Brazil Institute and the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. He holds a PhD in Development Studies at SOAS. Nicholas researches gangs and parastatal groups in the urban margins. His current project focuses on Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.


To get in touch directly, email us at info@urbanviolence.org.

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Facebook: @urbanviolence
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Twitter: @Urban_Violence
LinkedIn: @The Urban Violence Research Network

All header and homepage images credit: Kieran Mitton (taken 2017-2018 in Freetown, Cape Town, London and Rio de Janeiro)