Climate Change and Securitization of Migration

Master's Thesis 2011 123 Pages

Earth Science / Geography - Geopolitics


Human beings have always migrated in search of better opportunities and better life. Migrations are also well tested strategies followed by various communities to adapt to various calamities and disasters. Most of civilizations (e.g. ancient Egyptian and Indus Valley civilizations) have come up as a result of people migrating to river valleys. It was only with the emergence of modern nation- states system, particularly after the treaty of Westphalia, that new notion of legality and illegality got attached to the process of migration, boundaries became rigid and exclusive, and the flows of people became an issue of ‘Others’ and ‘Othering’. In short, the history of mobility is much longer than the history of Westphalian territoriality and borders.

In the present era climate change is becoming the defining factor in human migration. The current dominant geopolitical narratives and framings of climate change tend to focus on the impacts of climate change on potential drivers of conflict, such as population movements, border disputes, and access to food, water, energy and other scarce resources. It is against the backdrop of a whirlpool of highly imaginative and alarmist geographies of a ‘catastrophic’ climate change that a new and highly contested concept of ‘climate refugee’ has emerged. Those who are forced to leave their native land by the’ global’ climate change are now described as climate migrants for want of a better term. Millions of people around the globe are said to be at risk of displacement due to climate change; being forced to leave their homelands, temporarily or permanently. It is believed that nine out of every ten disasters are somehow related to climate change.

It has become an accepted fact among the international community that climate change is going to result in large number of displacement. The Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has minced no words in warning that “The impacts of climate change on Asia will place additional stress on socioeconomic and physical systems... A further demographic response will come about through the risk of extreme events on human settlements. If the incidence and magnitudes of events such as droughts and coastal floods increase, there could be large-scale demographic responses—for example, through migration” (IPCC, Working Group 2, 2007).


ISBN (eBook)
File size
1.2 MB
Catalog Number
Institution / College
Panjab University
Climate Change Migration Securetization Desecuretization Climate Refugees




Title: Climate Change and Securitization of Migration