Challenges in understanding and responding to crisis in urban contexts

McPhun, P. and Lucchi, E.
Publication language
Date published
01 Mar 2008
Research, reports and studies
Conflict, violence & peace, Protection, human rights & security, Targeting, Identification and Profiling, Urban


It has been widely accepted that the world theatre of conflict is changing, with not only a general
decline in the number of cross border conflicts, but an increase in the number of countries
emerging from full blown internal conflict to phases of transition or post conflict. In turn there
appears to be an increase in the number of hybrid forms of conflict within and across state
boundaries, conflict and violence perpetrated by individual or collective groups that is often not
political in nature, but instead driven by economic and/or criminal gain. These are not necessarily conflicts restricted by classical territorial boundaries, or carried out by clearly defined (and identifiable) actors. As such the civilian population may no longer be stuck on the wrong side of a border, but instead exposed in ways that allow everyone to become a victim. Urban settings in particular are fast becoming less a safe haven to escape to and more a new territory of opportunity for those with power to extort.