skip to content


Global Hotspots of Violence: How to Focus Intervention and Prevention

Most violence is highly concentrated in space and time. This applies to violence by organised actors and within an organised setting, as well as to acts of violence committed by individuals in their daily lives. Hotspots of violence therefore are found on the street-level of communities as well as on the global level of countries and regions. Seemingly an advantage for intervention and prevention, the concentrated nature of violence nonetheless poses a number of problems and difficult questions. What would be the overall impact on violence levels if hotspots are targeted? How responsive are hotspots to violence reduction programmes, are they "hard" or "soft" targets? In which ways are different forms of violence related in hotspots, and will interventions targeting one form of violence have spill-over effects on another type? Based on a unique global data set of "Violent Societies", which combines types of organised and non-organised violence for 134 countries since 1976, these questions will be addressed in three steps. First, the impact of violence reduction in hot spots on global violence levels will be estimated, for various global regions. Next, the responsiveness / elasticity of violence in hotspots with regard to intervention will be analysed. Finally, the relationship between organised and non-organised violence will be explored for hotspots of violence, with particular attention to their contextual pattern.  Conclusions will be drawn as to the advantages, disadvantages and tools of interventions targeting hot spots.