On Violence in the City: The Despair, Hope, Unfulfilled Expectations, Resignation/Desperation Syndrome
Van Horne, Winston A.
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Much is known about despair, hope, unfulfilled expectations, resignation, and desperation in the everyday lives of individuals. This essay is distinctive in that it taps what is known about each concept individually to call out that together they form a syndrome regarding violence in the city qua city -- regardless of the location of any given city on the planet. It shows how hope can readily degenerate into despair when expectations fostered by hope go unfulfilled, and makes plain that both resignation and desperation can, and do, emanate from unfulfilled expectations. Finally, it discusses the emanation of violence from desperation, articulates the costliness of this for the city, and outlines ways of contracting the domain of violence. The public policy significance and value of the essay is striking, for in a very real sense this manuscript is a sort of white paper to policymakers globally, beset by the scourge of gun criminals (euphemistically called gunmen, a practice that should cease worldwide) and societal violence.