Panel Paper: Mega Cities, Mega Conflict

Friday, April 7, 2017 : 10:45 AM
Founders Hall Room 475 (George Mason University Schar School of Policy)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Angela Gill, George Mason University
Rapid urbanization potentially provides many significant economic benefits, but recent literature suggests increased conflict is also likely. Megacities, which are large agglomerations with a population of at least ten million people, are growing in both size and number and present unique challenges for responses to conflict, humanitarian relief, disaster relief, and other types of stability operations. Therefore, it is important to understand whether specific factors that are supposed to enable non-state armed groups to operate more easily are actually leading to increased conflict. This paper tests four megatrends cited in David Kilcullen’s Out of the Mountains by using data from the UCDP. Results suggest that countries with coastal megacities do correspond with increased conflict, but population growth, urban population growth, and connectedness were either not significant or inconclusive.