This sub-project is interested in understanding the governance context of the climate-migration-adaptation nexus at the local, national, and international level, with a particular focus on "migration as adaptation." This research will not only create an understanding of the policy environment and its impact on social resilience, but will also help to guide policy dialogue and suggest how migration and translocality can be mainstreamed into climate change adaptation policies.
In the past few years, “migration as adaptation” (Smit and McLeman, 2006; Adger et al, 2003; Tacoli, 2011; Barnett and O'Neill, 2012; Scheffran et al, 2012) has become a popular refrain for policymakers and practitioners. This premise argues that migration enables people to diversify traditional agricultural-based livelihoods, allows the spreading of risk for the household, and the sending of remittances back to family members, which could, in turn, increase resilience back home. While the nature and effectiveness of such a framing is contested (Felli and Castree, 2012; Methmann and Oels, 2015), nevertheless, organizations and institutions are interested in pursuing on-the-ground policies related to it.
This sub-project acknowledges that existing structural, political, and power dynamics will all have a hand in shaping "migration as adaptation" policies at various administrative levels. It finds that at the international level existing everyday "practices" at key international organizations may inadvertently constrain more radical policy imaginings (Ober and Sakdapolrak, forthcoming). At the national or local level in Thailand, "migration as adaptation" plays a limited role, but will inevitably be influenced by hardwired development and political trajectories, among others.
Aim: The aim of this sub-project will be to get to the bottom of the following broad research questions: How do climate change policies understand/address migration? How do migration policies understand/address climate change? How do higher-level policies impact lower-level climate change adaptation and/or migration decision making? Which policies impede or facilitate translocal social resilience?
Methods: This sub-project will carry out a detailed multi-level policy and stakeholder analysis in order to get a sense of this complex environment. This will revolve around qualitative research methods, with a particular focus on semi-structured interviews and text analysis.
This sub-project depends on others for a more informed analysis. For example, understanding risk, vulnerability & resilience as well as social translocal practices will help to identify translocal institutions and stakeholders which impact everyday governance processes. In addition, social network analysis will help untangle complex questions on translocal governance power relations.