TransRe Working Paper No 4

Why we should not oversimplify migration decisions in the face of environmental change shows Simon Peth in his Working Paper: Migrationspfade und Arbeitsräume in Bangladesch - Translokale Lebenssicherung in einer sich wandelnden (Um)Welt. This working paper is based on a dissertation study conducted in Bangladesh in 2012 presented at the Department of Geography, University of Bonn, where the author studied human geography.


Migration Trajectories and Labour Spaces - Securing Livelihoods in a Changing Environment

Simon Alexander Peth
Department of Geography, University of Bonn

The climate change discourse in Bangladesh has the potential to overemphasize the environment as a driver of migration. This paper on Migration Trajectories and Labour Spaces - Securing Livelihoods in a Changing Environment scrutinizes the mere reduction of migration decisions to climate change and points towards the danger of simplifying migration decisions, which are manifold and complex by nature. Recent attempts of migration studies, such as the translocality approaches enable us to capture the complexity of migrants’ livelihoods and migration decisions. The paper presents empirical results from a multi-sited study conducted in Bangladesh. Against other studies emphasizing the dominance of rural-urban migration this paper shows that the rural areas play a more significant role as destinations than often assumed. Work and employment opportunities are the goal for migrants, not the city or rural places as such. Social networks and translocal connection shape the diverse migration patterns in Bangladesh. It is both the conditions at the place of origin as well as the circumstances at the destination places that influence migration decisions. In this vein the paper shows the necessity to go beyond simple causal drivers of migration.

KEYWORDS: Translocality; Labour Migration; Bangladesch; Environment-Migration Nexus

LANGUAGE: This TransRe working paper is published in German; an english paper based on the same study can be found here: Peth, S. A. & S. Birtel (2015): Translocal livelihoods and labor migration in Bangladesh - migration decisions in the context of multiple insecurities and a changing environment, In: Mallick, B. & Etzold, B. (Eds.): Environment, Migration and Adaptation. Evidence and Politics of Climate Change in Bangladesh. Dhaka: AHDPH. ISBN: 978-984-91037-9-0

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We are a BMBF supported research group seeking to decipher the relationships between migration, translocality, and social resilience to climate change in Thailand. Our working group is based at the Department of Geography at the University of Bonn, Germany. Get to know our team...




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