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From urban catastrophe to 'model' city?: politics, security and development in post-conflict Kigali

Goodfellow, Tom and Smith, Alyson (2013) From urban catastrophe to 'model' city?: politics, security and development in post-conflict Kigali. Urban Studies, 50 (15). pp. 3185-3202. ISSN 0042-0980

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0042098013487776


In the years immediately after the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Kigali was a site of continuing crisis amid extraordinary levels of urban population growth, as refugees returned to Rwanda in their millions. Yet unlike many post-conflict cities that spiral into endemic crime and instability, it was rapidly securitised in the context of political consolidation and large amounts of foreign aid, and hailed by the UN as a ‘model, modern city’. This paper analyses the government’s approach to securitising Kigali, interrogating how its rapid trajectory from epicentre of conflict to carefully planned showcase for development has been achieved. It is argued that Kigali bears the weight of many of Rwanda’s development aspirations and keeping it secure and orderly is viewed as critical by the government. After examining the national and local processes through which the government has aimed to achieve ‘secure urbanisation’, the potential longer-term implications of its urban development strategy are considered.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 Urban Studies Journal Ltd.
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DT Africa
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2013 10:32
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:02
Funders: Crisis States Research Centre, London School of Economics

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