Urban refugees and digital technology

Martin-Shields, Charles
Books (2024)

Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press

ISBN: 978-0-228-02052-3

Publisher's information

Open access

Refugees and displaced people are increasingly moving to cities around the world, seeking out the social, economic, and political opportunity that urban areas provide. Against this backdrop digital technologies are fundamentally changing how refugees and displaced people engage with urban landscapes and economies where they settle. Urban Refugees and Digital Technology draws on contemporary data gathered from refugee communities in Bogotá, Nairobi, and Kuala Lumpur to build a new theoretical understanding of how technological change influences the ways urban refugees contribute to the social, economic, and political networks in their cities of arrival. This data is presented against the broader history of technological change in urban areas since the start of industrialization, showing how displaced people across time have used technologized urban spaces to shape the societies where they settle. The case studies and history demonstrate how refugees’ interactions with environments that are often hostile to their presence spur novel adaptations to idiosyncratic features of a city’s technological landscape. A wide-ranging study across histories and geographies of urban displacement, Urban Refugees and Digital Technology introduces readers to the myriad ways technological change creates spaces for urban refugees to build rich political, social, and economic lives in cities.

About the author

Martin-Shields, Charles

Political Science


Further experts

Breuer, Anita

Political Scientist 

Christ, Simone

Social Anthropology 

Eberz, Isabelle

Cultural Science 

Ekoh, Susan S.

Environmental Research 

Flaig, Merlin

Social Science 

Jaji, Rose


Kachelmann, Matthias

Political Science 

Kuhnt, Jana

Development Economist 

Stewart, Benjamin

Social Science 

Wisskirchen, Alma

Political Science