Fellowship: Rocca Dissertation Research
Fellowship Year(s): 2015
Project/Theme Title: Forced migration as a weapon of war
Abstracts: "Making Migrations: The Strategic Use of Forced Displacement in Armed Conflicts" This dissertation seeks to explain when, where, and why governments intentionally uproot civilians during armed conflicts. I draw on multiple forms of evidence -- an original cross-national dataset, local-level displacement patterns, and interviews with policymakers and displaced communities in Uganda -- to show how the strategic use of population displacement is an outgrowth of elite efforts to modernize the state and construct political authority in outlying areas. As the first study to systematically analyze forced displacement as a conflict strategy, this project provides conceptual, theoretical, and empirical clarity regarding an increasingly massive feature of international politics and a "predominant, even overwhelming" component of contemporary wars.1 By identifying the factors that drive authorities to use displacement as a weapon of war, this project will aid policy efforts to prevent, mitigate, and better respond to forced migrations.