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Dennis Rodgers
Research Associate
Contact: Email: d.w.rodgers (at)
Email: dennis.rodgers (at)


Dennis Rodgers is Professor of International Development Studies at the University of Amsterdam. A social anthropologist by training, his research focuses broadly on issues relating to the political economy of development, including in particular the dynamics of conflict and violence in cities in Latin America (Nicaragua, Argentina) and South Asia (India). Much of his work involves the study of youth gangs – he has been conducting longitudinal ethnographic research on Nicaraguan gang dynamics since 1996 – but he has also worked on urban inequality, the politics of socio-spatial segregation, participatory governance processes, urban crime reduction, as well as on the epistemology of development knowledge. Prior to joining the UvA, Dennis was Professor of Urban Social and Political Research at the University of Glasgow (2012-2015), Senior Research Fellow in the Brooks World Poverty Institute (BWPI) at the University of Manchester (2007-2012), and Lecturer in Urban Development and Development Studies at the London School of Economics (2000-2007). Between 2010-2012, he co-directed the ESRC-DFID-funded project on ‘Understanding the Tipping Point of Urban Violence’ at the University of Manchester, and between 2000-2010 he was a core team member of the London School of Economics’ Crisis States Research Centre. Dennis has also worked as a consultant for several international development organisations, and was a member of a Nicaraguan youth gang for a year, as well as manager of a market stall selling rice and beans in one of Managua’s markets for six months. He was born in Thailand, and holds Swiss, French, and British citizenship.

Recent lecture:

“The gangster imaginary: Towards a transgressive topography of urban violence”, 2016 IJURR lecture delivered at the ISA-RC21 annual conference, Mexico City, Mexico, 21-23 July 2016.

Field(s) of Interest:

  • Conflict and violence (including in particular gangs)
  • Urban Development
  • The Political Economy of Space
  • Urban Politics
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • The Social Construction of Development Knowledge
  • The Anthropology Of Development
  • Latin America (Nicaragua, Argentina)
  • India (Bihar)
Current Research: (1) “Stepchildren of the Revolution: Gangs in Nicaragua and South Africa” (with Steffen Jensen, Aalborg University); (2) “The enduring relevance of the Chicago School of Sociology for contemporary urban studies” (with Gareth A. Jones at the LSE); (3) “Further Popular Representations of Development” (with David Lewis, LSE & Michael Woolcock, World Bank); (4) “Securing the Local: The Role of Non-state security groups in the Struggle against Extremism in Kenya, Nigeria and Indonesia” (with Laurens Bakker and others at the UvA).

Selected Publications:



  • France Culture: Des pandillas aux maras: les sociétés face à la violence endémique (Link)