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The Concept of Climate Migration

Advocacy and its Prospects

Benoît Mayer

This timely book offers a unique interdisciplinary inquiry into the prospects of different political narratives on climate migration. It identifies the essential angles on climate migration – the humanitarian narrative, the migration narrative and the climate change narrative – and assesses their prospects. The author contends that although such arguments will influence global governance, they will not necessarily achieve what advocates hope for. He discusses how the weaknesses of the concept of “climate migration” are likely to be utilized in favour of repressive policies against migration or for the defence of industrial nations against perceived threats from the Third World.
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Chapter 5: Pragmatic narratives – self-interests, national aspirations, and global complex interdependence

Benoît Mayer


Previous chapters have shown that the concept of climate migration reflects larger issues of international solidarity and responsibility. How could states be persuaded to reinforce the protection of the human rights of migrants or to relate more responsibly to the global atmospheric commons? By deconstructing prevailing conceptions of national economic interests and national security, this chapter submits that both human rights protection and climate change responsibility can be envisioned through an alternative construction of states’ interests in a complex and interdependent world.

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