Armed Conflict, Psycho-Social Support, and Migration

Nathalie Williams, University of Michigan

This is a theoretical and empirical study of the effects of armed conflict and social support on migration. While we understand that people migrate away from conflict, there is little research examining why some people migrate and others do not. In this paper, I examine how psycho-social support organizations moderate the relationship between conflict and migration. Using the Maoist insurrection in Nepal as a case study, I use data from a monthly panel study to create event history models that test the effect of the conflict and specific violent events on migration, and the interaction of psycho-social support organizations with violence. Results show that migration decreased during the general period of conflict and in months following low violence, but increased after months of high violence. Additionally I show that psycho-social support organizations such as temples, monasteries, social groups, and urban residence decrease the effect of the conflict on migration.

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Presented in Session 29: Characteristics of Populations Affected by Forced Displacement