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Managing Climate Insecurity by Ensuring Continuous Capital Accumulation : 'Climate Refugees' and 'Climate Migrants'
New Political Economy
Numerous recent reports by non-governmental organisations (NGOs), academics and international organisations have focused on so-called 'climate refugees'. This article examines the turn from a discourse of 'climate refugees', in which organisations perceive migration as a failure of both mitigation and adaptation to climate change, to one of 'climate migration', in which organisations promote migration as a strategy of adaptation. Its focus is the promotion of climate migration management, and it explores the trend of these discourses through two sections. First, it provides an empirical account of the two discourses, emphasising the differentiation between them. It then focuses on the discourse of climate migration, its origins, extent and content, and the associated practices of 'migration management'. The second part argues that the turn to the promotion of 'climate migration' should be understood as a way to manage the insecurity created by climate change. However, international organisations enacts this management within the forms of neoliberal capitalism, including the framework of governance. Therefore, the promotion of 'climate migration' as a strategy of adaptation to climate change is located within the tendencies of neoliberalism and the reconfiguration of southern states' sovereignty through governance.
migration, climate change, governance, adaptation, sovereignty, global political economy, environmental governance
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