The departments of Town and Regional Planning and Geography, in collaboration with SIID, are hosting the following seminar and Special Issue launch event on 16 December.

Of vagrants, migrants, delinquents, and penitents: Barrio life in Nicaragua

Monday 16th December 4:00-5.30pm, RJRR, Geography & Planning Building
Seminar by Dennis Rodgers, University of Glasgow

Drawing on ex-gang member biographies collected during the course of longitudinal ethnographic research begun in 1996, this presentation will explore the different life trajectories of youth in barrio Luis Fanor Hernández, a poor neighbourhood in Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua. It identifies four distinct archetypes – the vagrant, the migrant, the delinquent, and the penitent – and seeks to trace the multiple factors that lead to individuals making particular choices: for example, why are some individuals more mobile than others, why do some resort to predatory forms of criminality while others choose to remain honest but suffer chronic unemployment, or why some turn to evangelical religion and others to drug or alcohol consumption. These different life choices are on the one hand related to individual-specific “vital conjunctures”, but on the other hand are also the consequence of more structural factors, both micro and macro, including the changing material environment of barrio Luis Fanor Hernández, its ever-increasing spatial isolation, the rise of infrastructural differentiation, political regime change, the transformation of the regional economic base, and even geopolitical factors. Seen from this perspective, what the archetypal life-trajectories explored in the paper therefore highlight is not only the range of possibilities and constraints for youth in poor Nicaraguan barrios, but also the broader conditions under which social life is constituted in such circumstances.

Urban Studies Special Issue Launch

Monday 16th December 5.30-6.30pm, RJRR, Geography & Planning Building
With Jo Beall (British Council), Tom Goodfellow (University of Sheffield) and Dennis Rodgers (University of Glasgow)

Following the above seminar, there will be a launch of a new Special Issue of the journal Urban Studies on:
‘Cities, Conflict and State Fragility in the Developing World’
The editors will briefly outline the background to and highlights of the Special Issue, which is based on five years of research by the Crisis States Research Centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

As part of the launch, read the recent blog from the editors on the subject of ‘civil’ to ‘civic’ conflict.

For more information about either of the above events, please email