The Urban Dilemma: Urbanisation and ethnocommunal conflict
2019 – 2022
- Emma Elfversson, Researcher
Other project members
The world is rapidly urbanising, and countries in the global South are home to the most rapid urbanisation processes. Urbanisation simultaneously holds a strong potential for progress and democracy-enhancement, and for destructive and violence-inducing dynamics, a fact encapsulated in the notion of an “urban dilemma”. This project seeks to advance knowledge on why urbanisation brings with it intensified ethnic grievances and increasing levels of inter-group violence in the cities in some cases, but not in others, and asks: In the context of rapidly growing cities, under what circumstances do violent ethnocommunal conflicts arise?
By systematically analysing rural-urban patterns of ethnic conflict, the project seeks to identify conditions under which in-migration, urbanrural straddling, and urban politics aggravate or mitigate ethnocommunal conflict in the city. The project employs a mixed-methods design, utilising geographically disaggregated time-varying data on inter-group violence in rural and urban areas, in-depth field research in three African cities (Kampala, Uganda; Lagos, Nigeria; and Nairobi, Kenya) and a survey among migrants in order to more closely understand the conditions under which urbanisation leads to ethnocommunal conflict in the city. The project will generate a better understanding of dynamics that are at the center of current debates around urbanisation and sustainable development.
MAIN FINANCIAL SUPPORT
- The Swedish Research Council (Development research)
- Elfversson, Emma and Kristine Höglund (2020). Den våldsamma staden. In RJ:s årsbok 2020: Staden, edited by J. Björkman and P. Hadenius. Stockholm, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond/Makadam förlag.
- Emma Elfversson, Ivan Gusic & Kristine Höglund (2019) “The spatiality of violence in post-war cities,” Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal, 4(2-3): 81-93.
- Elfversson, Emma (2019) “How government bias can fuel communal conflicts in Africa.” The Conversation Africa, 2019-08-18.