The Urban Dilemma: Urbanisation and ethnocommunal conflict
2019 – 2022
- Emma Elfversson, Researcher
Other project members
- Henrik Angerbrandt, Researcher
- Kristine Höglund, Professor
- Angela Muvumba-Sellström, Researcher
- Camille Pellerin, Researcher
- Marta Pitino, Research assistant
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; Addis Abeba, Ethiopia; 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 & Kristine Höglund, 2021. Are armed conflicts becoming more urban? Cities, 119: 1-10, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2021.103356
- Pellerin, Camille & Emma Elfversson, forthcoming. “(Re)claiming Finfinne? The Oromo struggle and the right to Addis Ababa.” In Urban Protest in an African Context of War, eds: Karen Büscher & Sam Kniknie, Brill, forthcoming.
- 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.
- Elfversson, Emma & Anders Sjögren, 2020. “Do local power-sharing deals reduce ethnopolitical hostility? The effects of ‘negotiated democracy’ in Kenya.” Ethnopolitics, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp. 45–63. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/17449057.2019.1583483
- Elfversson, Emma, 2019. “Patterns and drivers of communal conflict in Kenya”. In Steven Ratuva (ed.) The Palgrave Handbook of Ethnicity. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-0242-8_50-1.
- 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.
- Emma Elfversson & Kristine Höglund (2019) “Violence in the city that belongs to no one: urban distinctiveness and interconnected insecurities in Nairobi (Kenya)”, Conflict, Security and Development, 19(4): 347-370
- Elfversson, Emma (2019) “How government bias can fuel communal conflicts in Africa.” The Conversation Africa, 2019-08-18.