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Precarious Urbanism

Displacement, Belonging and the Reconstruction of Somali Cities

By Jutta Bakonyi and Peter Chonka

Published

Nov 1, 2022

Page count

264 pages

Series

Spaces of Peace, Security and Development

ISBN

978-1529215229

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Nov 1, 2022

Page count

264 pages

Series

Spaces of Peace, Security and Development

ISBN

978-1529215243

Dimensions

Imprint

Bristol University Press
Precarious Urbanism

This book explores relationships between war, displacement and city-making. Focusing on people seeking refuge in Somali cities after being forced to migrate by violence, environmental shocks or economic pressures, it highlights how these populations are actively transforming urban space.

Using first-hand testimonies and participatory photography by urban in-migrants, the book documents and analyses the micro-politics of urban camp management, evictions and gentrification, and the networked labour of displaced populations that underpins growing urban economies. Central throughout is a critical analysis of how the discursive figure of the ‘internally displaced person’ is co-produced by various actors. The book argues that this label exerts significant power in structuring socio-economic inequalities and the politics of group belonging within different Somali cities connected through protracted histories of conflict-related migration.

1. Introduction: Researching Precarious Urbanism and the Displacement-Urbanisation Nexus

2. Histories of Conflict and Mobility: The View From the City

3. Camp Urbanisation and Humanitarian Entrepreneurship

4. Improvising Infrastructure: The Micropolitics of Camp Life

5. Techno Relief? Connectivity, Inequality and Mobile Urban Livelihoods

6. Liminal Durability: Belonging in the City and Enduring Solutions

7. Conclusion: Making Difference Legible