Climate Migration and the Law: A Review of Responsibility

Authors: Brittany Wheeler*, Clark University
Topics: Migration, Environmental Perception
Keywords: environmental migration, legal geography, reparation, futurity, climate
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Studio 10, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The literature that engages environmental migration, within geography and beyond it, deals in the myriad difficulties of articulation (definition, causation) and response (action). Engaging with the conservative institution of the law on such matters seems at once crucially important and wildly inadequate for addressing complex, anticipatory futures. This review paper aims to refine the moral geography of contemporary environmental migration through an overview of existing and suggested legal responsibilities on the regional, state, and international level, surveying literature across law, geography, forced migration, and political/social/philosophical theory. In addition to attempting to portray the current constellation of responsibility as addressed by the law, this paper aims to offer initial comment on the way in which the contested nature of environmental migration itself affects legal concerns, as well as the role legal reparative thought might play in linking ideas of historical injustice to future injustice scenarios.

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