Environment- Human Migration Nexus: An Empirical Overview

Authors: Sweta Tiwari*, Mississippi State University, Shrinidhi Ambinakudige, Mississippi State University
Topics: Human-Environment Geography, Migration
Keywords: Environmental Migration, Human Agency, Complex Interplay
Session Type: Guided Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: Roosevelt 3.5, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


There has been an ongoing debate for decades over whether the approaches employed by the environmentalists or the migration scholars is comprehensive in reflecting the environment-migration nexus. The environmentalist’s assumption of nature as a totality in explaining environment-migration nexus and their massive figures of the displacees drew the critical responses from the migration scholars. The migration scholars argued that the people’s decision to migrate is always influenced by the multifaceted factors- economic, social and political factors and the environmental change is one of the contextual factors in migration decisions. This study explores various empirical literature to examine whether people’s decision to stay or uproot is directly proportional to changes in the environment or implicitly dependent on the context in the face of the environmental crisis. Various empirical studies show that environmental migration is the result of a complex interplay between the changing environment and different types of macro and micro factors facilitated by meso factors. Thus, to understand the people's migratory behavior as a result of the changing environment, one should consider various aspects affecting the human agency such as individual’s household demographic characteristics, economic and social capital, location-specific capital and the past events along with economic, social, political and environmental factors.

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