This paper, funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), seeks to foster effective security and rule of law policy and practice by producing empirically-based insights into how structures of local governance might interact with plural security providers in ways that deliver improved security outcomes for urban residents. This approach privileges a bottom-up perspective, challenging both conventional state-centric international security and rule of law assistance and local policymakers to better engage with modes of security provision that people view as legitimate, effective, or at least the best available. More can be found at Comparative research was conducted in three urban contexts: Beirut, Lebanon; Nairobi, Kenya; and Tunis, Tunisia. These cities are characterised by differing degrees of security pluralism, unequal levels of human development, distinct historical trajectories of state formation, and diverse patterns of social cleavages. As such, they reflect a range of contextual factors, and a microcosm of a larger global set. Insights drawn from individual case studies will inform preliminary research agenda-setting and recommendations for policymakers to respond more effectively to security challenges in urban settings.


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