How Can Migration Support Adaptation? Different Options to Test the Migration-Adaptation Nexus

François Gemenne, Université de Liège and Université de Versailles
Julia Blocher, Université de Liège

The application of the adaptation-migration nexus to the field of environment and climate change, has not been empirically tested, nor has the policy apparatus needed to deliver this potential been developed and assessed. This relationship must be fleshed out, beyond the common wishful thinking of migration as a new adaptation strategy, a positive and performative vision of mobility. The objective of this conceptual and methodological paper is therefore to flag different possible choices that can be made to study migration and adaptation. We argue that migration can affect adaptation in different ways, suggesting that the key framing question is: adaptation for whom? In response, we discuss the merits and challenges to considering this question from each of three possible vantage points: the migrant, the community of origin, the community of destination. Reviewing and assessing of previous conceptual and empirical work, this paper weighs possible methods to test the migration-adaptation nexus.

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Presented in Session 104: Methods and Measurement in Population, Development, and Environment Research