Cities, terrorism and development


This article interrogates the relationship between terrorism and development through the lens of cities, arguing that despite the post 9/11 hype in relation to cities of the global North, the impact of terrorism on cities of the global South should not be ignored. Defining terrorism in terms of acts of terror, it is suggested that cities are more susceptible to this form of political violence than rural areas because of the likelihood of greater impact and visibility and the incidence and impact of urban terror is greatest in cities of less developed countries. Eschewing a ‘developing’/‘developed’ dichotomy it is nevertheless demonstrated that while terrorism has levelled risk across cities of the North and South, vulnerabilities in developing country cities are far greater. It is here that the link between terrorism and development can be most tightly drawn, providing a clear rationale for destabilising the vicious cycle of terrorism and counter-terrorism that destroys past and undermines future development.


Journal of International Development (2006) 18 (1) 105-120 [DOI: 10.1002/jid.1265]

Cities, terrorism and development

Published 1 January 2006