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Pushed to the Brink

Perceptions, Experiences and Knowledge of Urban Violence in Nairobi

This research investigates diverse perspectives and perceptions on urban violence in Nairobi. In this study, men and women are viewed as perpetrators and victims of violence. The study concludes by making some recommendations to address urban violence in Nairobi, mainly putting emphasis on addressing structural causes of violence at social, economic, political and cultural levels.

Publication details


This research investigates diverse perspectives and perceptions on urban violence in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, primarily from the stance of community members in the research sites. It is based on the knowledge and experience of urban violence as articulated by respondents living in six informal settlements in the city, namely: Kangemi, Kayole, Kibera, Korogocho, Mathare, and Majengo. These locations were selected because of their high population and pronounced prevalence of urban crimes. This study applies a descriptive research design that focuses on bringing forward particular contextual experiences of urban violence in the selected research locations. Further, the study applied a frustration-aggression theoretical framework that explores how dynamics of urban violence are connected to structural and relational dynamics in the research sites that create frustration among residents of informal settlements, contributing to their participation in violence. Researchers from the study sites locally designed the research which involved developing the research objectives, methodology and questions, identified the respondents, and led the data collection and data analysis processes.