In this episode of MWI’s Urban Warfare Project Podcast, John Spencer is joined by Dr. Richard Norton. He is a professor of national security affairs at the US Naval War College and a retired US Navy commander. While in the Navy, he served extensively at sea on cruisers and destroyers, as well as shore tours in the Navy’s Office of Legislative Affairs and the Navy Staff.

In the conversation, Dr. Norton discusses his research on feral cities, a term he coined to describe a large urban area in which the state had lost the ability to maintain the rule of law yet remains a functioning actor in the greater international system. He explains the implications of things like pandemics and pollution, specifically with respect to feral cities and basic human needs. His taxonomy of city health also calls into question how the international community assesses the health of a city and, more broadly, whether we have the right expertise to even properly understand major cities.

You can listen to the discussion below or find the episode on Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotifyTuneIn, or your favorite podcast app. Be sure to subscribe, and if you’re enjoying the Urban Warfare Project Podcast, please take a minute and leave the podcast a review or give it a rating!

Note: This episode was originally released in April 2020.

Image credit: Laura Heaton, Enough Project