Source: London: Mosaikon Development Communities. Downloaded 26 January 2005.

Poor communities around the world struggle to fight crime and violence to provide a safe environment for individuals, families, schools, businesses, and more. The challenges are intense and complex, especially as resources to support this struggle are often few and stretched in poor communities. According to Sonali Sharma, such communities need innovative strategies to mobilize local knowledge and to encourage residents to participate in fostering order and stability. Civil society may provide a foundation for discovering and applying the needed strategies. Sharma uses the notion of civil society defined by Braithwaite and Strang; it refers to those institutions that are intermediate between the individual and the state. In this paper, Sharma explores all of this through consideration of crime and poor communities, crime and context in South Africa, civil society governance, and a case study in the Community Peace Programme, a civil society governance project initiated in the Western Cape of South Africa in 1997.

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