Crime and Social Cohesion in the Time of Crisis: Early Evidence of Wider Impacts of Food, Fuel and Financial Shocks
Economic crises have a series of impacts on society and security, depending on their severity, and on people’s capacities to cope with and adapt to stresses on livelihoods and community relations. This article highlights findings about how local-level security and social relations have been affected by the global food, fuel and financial shocks since 2008. Based on original research from a qualitative and participatory study in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya and Zambia in early 2009, it discusses local perspectives on how crime and social cohesion have been affected across ten case study communities involved in the study. It identifies a number of common directions of change categorised here as broadly ‘crime’. It is suggested that crime and social cohesion are important potential indicators of the impact of economic crisis. The article concludes with a discussion of the poverty, political and governance implications of crisis-driven impacts on crime and social cohesion.
Article first published September 2009, IDSB40.5.