Migration and Armed Conflict: The Case of Internal Migration during the Maoist Insurrection in Nepal

Nathalie Williams, University of Michigan

This paper addresses migration during armed political conflict, discussing both motivations for the migration decision, and patterns of origin and destinations. Using the on-going Maoist insurrection in Nepal as a case study, I test a set of theory driven hypotheses using the Chitwan Valley Family Study, a unique longitudinal data set that provides monthly data on individuals for a period of six years, both before and during the outbreak of nationwide violence. Results from monthly in- and out-migration rates and hazard models indicate that the conflict has significantly influenced migration patterns. In-migration to Chitwan increases with heightening violence in other areas of the country. Out-migration decreases with increasing violence, suggesting that while Chitwan has experienced violence, it remains a relatively safe haven within Nepal. Results also show that in- and out-migration drastically increase in specific months. These migrations coincide with sharp increases in fatalities and signs of government instability.

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Presented in Poster Session 3