Gareth A. Jones

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United Kingdom
Professor of Urban Geography and Director of the Latin America and Caribbean Centre (LSE)
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London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

United Kingdom
Research Profile

My current research involves three principal projects. First, research that follows the intersection of cities, youth and violence in Mexico. Through the 2000s, I conducted ethnography with a group of ‘street youth’ in Puebla, noting how they related to civil society groups, security agencies and the wider state. This work included understanding the role of gangs, the drug economy and violence, and motivated the volume Youth Violence in Latin America: Gangs and juvenile justice in perspective (edited with D. Rodgers, Macmillan-Palgrave). I am presently involved with a five-year European Research Council project, directed by Professors Dennis Rodgers (Graduate Institute, Geneva) and Steffen Jensen (Aalborg), entitled Gangs, Gangsters, and Ganglands: Towards a Global Comparative Ethnography, for which I serve on the International Advisory Panel and will return to Mexico for new fieldwork.

Second, I have been Co Principal Investigator on an ESRC-NWO-DFG grant, with Professors Rivke Jaffe (Amsterdam) and Eveline Durr (LMU), investigating the commodification of urban poverty and violence in four cities in the Americas: Kingston, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans. See
The research has looked at how inequality, represented through violence and poverty, has become a chic USP for certain communities and operators, sometimes incorporated in to city branding, but often highly contested by residents and activists.

Third, research on gated communities in South Africa has considered how research has considered how estates ‘do work’ to affirm class positions, associating exclusionary practices with ‘good governance’, the management of nature, and the symbolism of architecture and lifestyle. Research in Johannesburg follows how residents of a large township adjacent to a cluster of high-end estates gain skills and conduct labour, and how the estates organise and understand their social responsibilities to workers and neighbours. These projects are in collaboration with Richard Ballard at University of Witswatersrand.

Latin America, Brazil, Ghana, Mexico, South Africa
English, Spanish

Select publications:

Jaffe, R; Dürr, E.; Jones, G.A.; Angelini, A.; Osbourne, A.; and, Vodopivec, B. (forthcoming) What does poverty feel like? Urban inequality and the politics of sensation, Urban Studies.

Jones, G.A. 2017. The Geographies of Capital: Inequality, Political Economy and Space, in Boushey, H. et al. (eds), After Piketty: the Agenda for Economics and Inequality, Harvard University Press.

Jones, G.A. & D. Rodgers, 2016. Standing on the shoulders of giants?: anthropology and the city, Etnofoor, 28 (2). 13-32.

Jones, Gareth A. and Sanyal, Romola (2015) Spectacle and Suffering: The Mumbai slum as a worlded space, Geoforum, 65, 431-439

Jones, Gareth A. (2015) Gentrification, neoliberalism and loss in Puebla, Mexico. In: Leese, Loretta, Shin, Hyun Bang and López-Morales , Ernesto, (eds.) Global Gentrifications: Uneven Development and Displacement. Policy Press, Bristol, UK, pp. 265-284. ISBN 9781447313472

Jones, Gareth. A. (2014), Where's the capital? A geographical essay. The British Journal of Sociology, 65: 721–735. doi: 10.1111/1468-4446.12112

Ballard, Richard and Jones, Gareth A. (2014) The sugarcane frontier: governing the production of gated space in KwaZulu-Natal. In: Haferburg, Christoph and Huchzermeyer, Marie, (eds.) Urban Governance in Post-apartheid Cities: Modes of Engagement in South Africa's Metropoles. Urbanization of the Earth. E. Schweizerbart and Gebr. Borntraeger , Stuttgart, Germany, pp. 295-312. ISBN 9783443370152

Jones, Gareth A. and Thomas de Benitez, Sarah (2014) Lost opportunity: the Lydia Cacho case and child rights in Mexico. The International Journal of Children's Rights, 22 (2). pp. 285-312. ISSN 0927-5568

The World Bank’s World Development Report 2011 on Conflict, Security, and Development: A critique through five vignettes, with D. Rodgers, Journal of International Development, Vol.23, pp.980-995, 2011

Slumming About: aesthetics, art and politics, City, Vol.15. No.5. pp.617-629, 2011

Natural Neighbors: Indigenous Landscapes and ‘Eco-estates’ in Durban, South Africa , With. R. Ballard, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol.101. No.1. pp.131-148, 2011

'The Continuing Debate about Urban Bias: The thesis, its critics, its influence, and its implications for poverty reduction strategies', with S.E.Corbridge, Progress in Development Studies, Vol. 10, No.1. pp.1-18, 2010

'Whither Participatory Banking?: Experiences with village blacks in South Africa'. With A. Dallimore, European Journal of Development Research. Vol 21, 2: 344-36, 2009

'Globalising Initiatives for Gender Equality and Poverty Reduction: Exploring "failure" with reference to education and work among urban youth in The Gambia and Ghana', with S.Chant. Geoforum, Vol. 40, 2: 184-196, 2009

'Bodies on the Line: Identity markers among Mexican street youth', with Herrera, E. and S. Thomas de Benitez, Children's Geographies, Vol.7. No.1: 67-81, 2009

'Megaprojects: Beneath the pavement, excess', with M. Moreno, City, Vol.11, No.2: 143-163, 2007

'Tears, Trauma and Suicide: Everyday violence among street youth in Puebla, Mexico', with E. Herrera and S. Thomas de Benitez, Bulletin of Latin American Research, Vol. 26, No. 4: 462-479, 2007