Groundwork for Peace: Reorienting ZOSOs for Sustained Violence Reduction

Groundwork for Peace: Reorienting ZOSOs for Sustained Violence Reduction
Researcher(s)
Alexander Causwell
Dr. Diana Thorburn
Stanea McIntosh

 This report evaluates the strategic framework and operational design of Zones of Special Operations (ZOSOs), a 2017 government initiative aimed at reducing Jamaica’s high rates of violent deaths. Utilizing a "clear, hold, and build" strategy from Counterinsurgency Theory, ZOSOs focus on displacing gangs, maintaining security, and fostering community development through social investments.

The report questions the effectiveness of the "hearts and minds" approach, suggesting it overlooks the role of organized gang violence in informal communities. It advocates for shifting focus to the regularization of land tenure to dismantle gang strongholds, enhance community development, and increase state legitimacy, thereby achieving sustainable violence reduction.

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