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The Political Economy of Rural-Urban ConflictPredation, Production, and Peripheries$
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Topher L. McDougal

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198792598

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198792598.001.0001

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Into an Urban World

Into an Urban World

(p.182) 9 Into an Urban World
The Political Economy of Rural-Urban Conflict

Topher L. McDougal

Oxford University Press

In a growing portion of the global South—starting with Latin America and the Caribbean—civil wars are on the decline. But rapid urbanization—much of it precipitated by the toll of earlier traditional civil wars—has transposed formerly rural and rural–urban conflicts to cities, shifting their dynamics and creating new dilemmas. In many regions, hyper-urbanization has outpaced the capacity of municipalities to provide basic public services; large swathes of many cities have become characterized by informal, gang-administered, or “hybrid” governance. These urban-based criminal networks have globalized, facilitating and benefiting from illicit transnational trades. This chapter will draw connections between the morphology of rural–urban conflict experienced and future trends in urban violence, with an eye toward the future of such urban challenges in now-urbanizing regions like sub-Saharan Africa. Finally, it will ask if rural–urban conflict will ever really be a thing of the past.

Keywords:   urbanization, civil war, gangs, illicit trades, terrorism, city systems

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