'Environmental Migration' as Advocacy: Is it Going to Work?

29:2 Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees (2014), 27-41

16 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2014

See all articles by Benoit Mayer

Benoit Mayer

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: September 14, 2014

Abstract

Can normative arguments for a governance of environmental migration succeed? The present analysis applies constructivist theories on norm entrepreneurship to the debate on the governance of environmental migration. Throughout the analysis, it appears that “environmental migration” is not constructed by one single, coherent norm entrepreneur . Rather, one may distinguish four normative enterprises that compete to use similar notions in the pursuit of divergent goals . They frame the issue of “environmental migration,” alternatively, as one of humanitarian assistance, forced migration, environmental sustainability, or international security. The article analyzes the prospect of each individual normative enterprise and their interactions. It concludes that norm entrepreneurs elaborating on a language of international security will likely have the greatest impact on the governance of environmental migration. Other normative enterprises are already permeated by the dominant language of fears.

Keywords: Climate migration, advocacy, norm entrepreneurship, political arguments.

Suggested Citation

Mayer, Benoit, 'Environmental Migration' as Advocacy: Is it Going to Work? (September 14, 2014). 29:2 Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees (2014), 27-41, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2495994

Benoit Mayer (Contact Author)

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Faculty of Law ( email )

6/F, Lee Shau Kee Building
Shatin, New Territories
Hong Kong

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