Universalizing Comparisons: Modular Answers to the Question of Urban Violence

Social Science History Association Annual Meeting

Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 12:30 to 14:30
Vancouver, BC
Panel: The Urban Question in Retrospect and Prospect
Co-organizers: Stuart Schrader & David Wachsmuth


Beginning in 1964, the US Department of Defense, soon followed by the Agency for International Development (US-AID), funded social-scientific research on violent urban unrest and insurgency. This paper delineates the theoretical postulates researchers put forth to explain urban insurgency's causes and suggest remedies. It then demonstrates the persistence of these postulates in subsequent research and policy papers, arguing that the modular character of these theoretical underpinnings enabled research to suggest highly generalizable military and policy responses.

© 2019 Stuart Schrader