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International Sociological Association

Democracy, Citizenship and Urban Violence
2nd Annual Conference of Urban Research and Development Society - 2013
University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
December 4-5, 2013
Abstracts: October 15, 2013

During the period of neoliberal democracy we face huge challenges of inequality and social polarization which leads to the new forms of urban violence. In Bangladesh democratic governments are under threat in recent decades due to the overwhelming dominance of market and corporations under the new web of privatization. The disjunctions between democracy and modernity have produced the fragmented urban spaces. Today's Dhaka is a city of shopping malls, restaurants, cafes, beauty parlours and glamorous gymnasiums. Dhaka in a short space of time has transformed, the landscape now dominated by new developments and an array of real-estate advertisements offering lucrative land and housing deals across the city. Alongside these new developments a new wave of service privatization, of universities, hospitals and schools is sweeping across the city, pricing out the vast majority from access to basic services. Millions of poor people moved to the city's peripheries with the hope and prosperity where they were again entrapped into the new urban poverty. It is thus in this context in which the peripheries, where new manufacturing and garments factories are fast developing, which become centers for poverty, violence and exploitation. In fact, urban poverty, widespread violence, and massive population movements to Dhaka have contributed to the peripheralization of poverty and violence during the period of market democracy. This new forms of urban violence has produced citizen insecurity. However, this conference aims to draw together from academics and researchers to address urban violence under neoliberal democracy and insurgent form of citizenship. Topics might include, but not limited to:

i. Neo-liberalism, market and democracy

ii. The web of privatization and increasing inequality

iii. The formation of urban peripheries and insurgent citizenship

iv. The rise of readymade garments as manufacturing exploitations

v. Violence in everyday life in the new urban peripheries

vi. Criminalization of poverty in the urban context

vii. Routine politics and violence in the city

viii. Public violence and increasing citizen insecurity

Abstract submission by 15 October, 2013 to

Conference Organizers:

Shahadat Hossain, PhD, Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh; (

Samina Luthfa, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh (

Shahadat Hossain, PhD, Department of Sociology, University of Dhaka Chairman, Urban Research and Development Society (URDS)

Samina Luthfa, (DPhil, Oxford), Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Dhaka
International Sociological Association