Tejiendo una red de resiliencia = weaving a web of resilience : Internal displacement, social networks and urban integration in Cartagena, Colombia
Author(s)Pollock, Jody (Jody Tamar)
Weaving a web of resilience
Internal displacement, social networks and urban integration in Cartagena, Colombia
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
Xavier de Souza Briggs.
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There are over 28.8 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the world today because of conflict, human rights violations and situations of generalized violence. Colombia's protracted internal armed conflict, which has lasted for over six decades, has resulted in the largest population of IDPs - up to 5.4 million as of 2012 - in the world. The vast majority migrates from rural areas to cities, settling on the urban periphery in historically poor neighborhoods. Taking Cartagena, Colombia as a revelatory case of IDP urban settlement, this thesis addresses these questions: In the face of ongoing violence, the disruption of spatial and social communities, and the dissolution of trust between individuals, organizations and the Colombian state, how do IDPs reconstitute social networks as part of integration into host cities? How are those social networks challenged and/or bolstered by the status and experience of displacement? Upon arrival in host cities, IDPs must satisfy basic survival needs (shelter, food, income), deal with trauma, and navigate shifting personal and collective identities in the aftermath of displacement. The individual and family-level strategies that IDPs develop to respond to these challenges ultimately require joining existing or forming new social networks for information sharing, economic support and emotional connection. Despite obstacles to community organizing (including direct threats and violence), these social networks sometimes morph into broader political coalitions, which serve as the base for social movements that make claims on the state. By learning from IDP settlement strategies, policymakers could develop more effective and durable solutions to address internal displacement and lay the groundwork for a more just and sustainable peace. I recommend: focusing on long-term IDP urban integration rather than on return to communities of origin, providing support to complement the foundation laid by IDP civil society organizations, and reframing policy away from short-term, household-level aid to target and support the social networks that form the basis of IDP resilience.
Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2013.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Cataloged from student-submitted PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 111-120).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.