The Concept of Climate Migration

Advocacy and its Prospects

Benoît Mayer ,

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The Concept of Climate Migration: Advocacy and its Prospects

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'In this important book, Benoît Mayer forces us to confront the implications of labelling in the climate migration context, and skillfully leverages this debate to shine a light on broader questions of the evolving role of global governance. His forthright analysis is both refreshing and appropriately challenging.'
- James C. Hathaway, University of Michigan Law School

'The discussion on the legal aspects of climate migration is often limited to the issue of the legal status. Yet the debate extends way further, and Mayer offers a much-needed broader look at the different dimensions of this concept, their legal implications and political caveats.'
- François Gemenne, University of Liège, Belgium, and Sciences Po, France

Political narratives on climate or environmental migration have been deployed in support of policy arguments relating to humanitarian assistance, migration, and climate change, or to promote national security or economic interests. But while climate change certainly has various impacts on human mobility, it does not appear to create distinct ''climate migrants'' or (in general) unprecedented migration scenarios. In this timely book, Benoit Mayer offers a unique interdisciplinary inquiry into the prospects of different political narratives on climate migration.

The Concept of Climate Migration identifies the essential narratives around climate migration - the humanitarian narrative, the migration narrative and the climate change narrative - and assesses their prospects. It argues that although such arguments will influence global governance, they will not necessarily achieve what advocates hope for. Throughout the discussion, it appears that 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.

This discerning book explores new paradoxes in political advocacy and relates them to some of the greatest challenges to contemporary global governance. It will be of great interest to researchers and postgraduate students interested in climate migration, climate change and the law, or anyone involved in advocacy around these important issues.

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