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Violence and Fragility: A Study of Violent Young Offending in Yemen and Other Fragile States

Lewis, Alexandra (2013) Violence and Fragility: A Study of Violent Young Offending in Yemen and Other Fragile States. PhD thesis, University of York.

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This thesis examines the relationship between violent young offending that has no clear political motive and state fragility. It does so by conducting an in-depth evaluation of crime, underdevelopment and crime control systems in Yemen, using existing theories of criminology and international development to suggest new ways of understanding and responding to violent criminal behaviour in that country and elsewhere. While one of the stated goals of this thesis is to generate new theoretical understandings of criminal violence in Yemen, its main contribution to knowledge is that it brings criminological theory into the discourse on international socio-economic underdevelopment in order to open up a new conduit for the academic analysis of fragility. In so doing, it merges criminological theory with the study of international development and state fragility, where the two academic disciplines have previously remained quite separate. The above aims are achieved through an extensive study of the Yemeni development context, based upon a combination of field research interviews conducted with prominent stakeholders in Yemen, distance research by phone and online conducted with Yemeni stakeholders, and expert consultations conducted with important analysts working either on Yemen directly or more broadly in the area of security and justice reform. The research itself, meanwhile, also provides a detailed overview of relevant theory and literature on criminology, justice reform and state fragility, while being supported by Yemeni criminal justice statistics. In light of the theoretical emphasis of this investigation, the findings of this thesis are suggestive rather than empirical. The author argues that the absence of state services, legitimate opportunities and socialising activities for young people, along with their exposure to significant levels of violence, produces extreme economic, psychological and socio-cultural stresses that lead to their increased aggression and rejection of state legitimacy, all of which combine to raise the likelihood of violent young offending in Yemen. It is argued that these trends yield a coherent analytical framework with relevant lessons for other fragile states, notwithstanding that Yemen's cultural specificities and tribal communities have produced unique influences that distinguish it from other fragile settings.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Politics (York)
The University of York > Post-war Reconstruction and Development Unit (York)
Depositing User: Ms Alexandra Lewis
Date Deposited: 20 May 2013 10:29
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:53
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3960

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