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Climate, Conflict, and Forced Migration
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A large number of populations are on the move by climatic events, with a possible increase due to climate change. The terms climate migrationclimate mobility, or climate refugee are recently used to highlight population movements driven by natural disasters or climate change. On the other hand, conflict and violence displace people to safer places. Despite increasing interest and urgency, we lack knowledge of migration decisions and processes that interact with climate and conflict. Existing theories are fragmented and restricted, calling for an integrated theory on the nexus between climate, conflict, and forced migration (displacement). To solve the gap, I use complex system modeling and network analysis from complex systems science.

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Yearly internal displacement flows in Somalia from 2016 to 2020 (from PRMN data).
Blue arrows are flows with more than 100 people on the move, and red arrows are those with less than 100 people.

Incorporating social and natural factors in migration decisions

Published in the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation

In this study, I developed a conceptual agent-based model (ABM) for the migration problem driven by water scarcity and social networks. I primarily focused on how multiple factors should be incorporated into the decision-making, not just looking into what factors should be considered. I compared three different factor configurations: substitutability, complementarity, and adaptability. These cases exhibited distinct patterns of population change and social mixing, offering a theoretical foundation for modeling migration decisions. 


A conceptual ABM setting with migration flows and environment


Functional forms of ADD (substitutability), AND (complementarity), OR (adaptability) configurations

Emergent network patterns of Somali internal displacement: disaster vs conflict

Under review; Preprint available in the SSRN

This study explored emergent network patterns of the internally displaced person (IDP) movement in Somalia. I particularly separated IDP networks according to the primary reasons: natural disasters (droughts & floods) and conflicts. I compare network statistics, degree distributions, triadic local structures, and clustering patterns of disaster-induced and conflict-induced IDP networks.

Due to the property of preferential attachment in scale-free networks, connections (e.g., information diffusion, clan relations) play a critical role in pulling IDPs in both disaster-induced and conflict-induced IDP networks. However, incoming IDP hubs are located in different geographical locations.

Disaster-induced and conflict-induced IDP networks share local network structures at the triad level. I consider this similarity as evidence of interactions between natural disasters and conflicts in displacement decisions. 

Disasters are likely to displace people to closer districts within the regional boundaries, while conflicts are more likely to scatter people to distant areas.

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