A System of Insecurity: Understanding Urban Violence and Crime in Bukavu examines the role of state and non-state actors in the provision of security, and citizens’ perceptions of, experiences with and responses to insecurity in Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu province in the eastern Congo. Facing growing urban insecurity, the residents of Bukavu have taken matters into their own hands. Improvising, fending for yourself (débrouillezvous) and taking care of oneself (auto-prise en charge) have become logics of personal action. This has produced an ambiguous order in which a plurality of actors compete to achieve the near impossible: to survive, thrive and provide security all at once.