How they became the human face of climate change. Research and policy interactions in the birth of the ‘environmental migration’ concept.
The literature on the nexus between the environment and migration is relatively recent, mostly dating back to the mid-1980s, a period characterised by asylum crises and major natural disasters. The nexus has been explored in a variety of different ways, but its two components have mostly been associated in a causal relationship. A few studies have focused on the impacts of refugee movements on the environment, whereas more recent studies have primarily addressed the impacts of environmental changes on migration flows.
Overall, four themes permeate the lite rature on the nexus: that research is impeded by a lack of empirical studies; driven by a climate change-dominated agenda; abundantly supplemented by ‘grey’ literature; and marked by disciplinary divides.