Cities and conflict in fragile states in the developing world

Beall, J., Goodfellow, T. and Rodgers, D. (2013) Cities and conflict in fragile states in the developing world. Urban Studies, 50(15), pp. 3065-3083. (doi:10.1177/0042098013487775)

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The articles presented in this Special Issue draw on five years of research by the Cities and Fragile States programme of the Crisis States Research Centre, based at the London School of Economics and Political Science. This programme, funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), was an exploratory ‘blue skies’ endeavour that set out to examine the relationship between cities, states and conflict in conflict-affected parts of the developing world. Our starting-point was the neglect of cities in contemporary discourses of state-building and state fragility, despite the fact that it is widely accepted that cities have historically played a critical role in processes of state consolidation, transformation and erosion (see, for example, the work of Charles Tilly, 1989, 1992, 2010). Our research has found that cities are still central to such processes, but in much more complex ways. The articles that make up this Special Issue represent a sample of the larger research output of the programme, which we also refer to throughout this introductory article. We begin by exploring the relevance of Tilly’s ideas for cities in fragile and conflict-affected areas of the contemporary developing world, highlighting how these constitute a useful starting-point for analysis, but also how cities, states and conflicts in these contexts differ significantly from those characteristic of the period examined by Tilly. Focusing particularly on the changing nature of conflict, we then outline an original tripartite typology of contemporary conflicts, distinguishing between sovereign, civil and civic conflict. We draw on the research presented in this Special Issue and beyond to explore the ways in which cities are incorporated into these different forms of conflict as either targets, spaces of relative security, or incubators of further strife and antagonism

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Rodgers, Professor Dennis
Authors: Beall, J., Goodfellow, T., and Rodgers, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Urban Studies
ISSN (Online):1360-063X

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