AMBIO

, Volume 41, Issue 8, pp 795–807 | Cite as

Environment and Mobility: A View from Four Discourses

Report

Abstract

Debate and literature on the link between degrading environments and human mobility has been increasing exponentially. There is little concrete evidence, however, of efforts or policies that support the management of environmentally influenced mobility. Through discourse analysis using Q-methodology, this research aimed to scrutinize the standoff between opposing views under a fresh lens. One-hundred and ninety-seven experts from 49 nations completed an on-line survey asking them to sort, by level of agreement, 42 statements gleaned from the literature concerning the environment-mobility nexus. Four very different discourses emerged: determined humanists, benevolent pragmatists, cynical protectionists, and critical realists. The complexity of these discourses helps explain the stalemate while confirming the inappropriateness of one-sided terminology and linear quantifications. Despite diametrically opposed viewpoints, experts unanimously agree that human mobility is connected to environmental change. Dissection of these social perspectives builds a new foundation for the Rio+20 analysis and policy deliberations related to environmentally influenced human mobility.

Keywords

Environmentally influenced mobility Complexity Environmental change Discourse Q-methodology 

Supplementary material

13280_2012_333_MOESM1_ESM.doc (100 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 100 kb)

References

  1. Adger, W.N., T.A. Benjaminsen, K. Brown, and H. Svarstad. 2001. Advancing a political ecology of global environmental discourses. Development and Change 32: 681–715.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alvesson, M., and D. Kärreman. 2000. Varieties of discourse: On the study of organizations through discourse analysis. Human Relations 53(9): 1125–1149.Google Scholar
  3. Antilla, L. 2005. Climate of scepticism: US newspaper coverage of the science of climate change. Global Environmental Change-Human and Policy Dimensions 15: 338–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boano, C., R. Zetter, and T. Morris. 2008. Environmentally-displaced people: Understanding the linkages between environmental change, livelihoods and forced migration. In Forced migration policy briefing 1. Oxford: Refugee Studies Centre (RSC).Google Scholar
  5. Carvalho, A. 2007. Ideological cultures and media discourses on scientific knowledge: Re-reading news on climate change. Public Understanding of Science 16: 223.Google Scholar
  6. Christian Aid. 2007. Human Tide: The real migration crisis. Christian Aid Report.Google Scholar
  7. Cruz, M., R. Quiroz, and M. Herrero. 2007. Use of visual material for eliciting shepherds’ perceptions of grassland in highland Peru. Mountain Research and Development 27: 146–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Doulton, H., and K. Brown. 2009. Ten years to prevent catastrophe? Discourses of climate change and international development in the UK press. Global Environmental Change-Human and Policy Dimensions 19: 191–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dryzek, J. 1998. The politics of the earth: Environmental discourses. Human Ecology Review 5: 65.Google Scholar
  10. Erway Morinière, L. C. 2009. Tracing the footprint of environmental migrants through 50 years of literature. In Studies of university: Research, counsel, education (SOURCE), No. 12, ed. United Nations University (UNU). Bonn: UNU/EHS.Google Scholar
  11. Farbotko, C. 2005. Tuvalu and climate change: Constructions of environmental displacement in the Sydney Morning Herald. Geografiska Annaler Series B 87B: 279–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fawcett, J.T. 1985. Migration psychology: New behavioral models. Population and Environment 8: 5–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Focht, W., and J.J. Lawler. 2000. Using Q methodology to facilitate policy dialogue. In Social discourse and environmental policy: An application of Q methodology, ed. H. Addams, and J. Proops, 100–122. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.Google Scholar
  14. FOE (Friends of the earth), ed. 2006. A citizen’s guide to climate refugees. Climate Justice: Friends of the earth Australia http://www.foe.org.au/climate.
  15. Foucault, M., G. Burchell, C. Gordon, and P. Miller. 1991. The Foucault effect: Studies in governmentality: With two lectures by and an interview with Michel Foucault. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  16. Frantzi, S., N.T. Carter, and J.C. Lovett. 2009. Exploring discourses on international environmental regime effectiveness with Q methodology: A case study of the Mediterranean Action Plan. Journal of Environmental Management 90: 177–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Glynos, J., D. Howarth, A. Norval and E. Speed. 2009. Discourse Analysis: Varieties and methods. Discussion Paper.Google Scholar
  18. Hajer, M. 1993. Discourse coalitions and the institutionalization of practice: The case of acid rain in Britain. In The Argumentative turn in policy analysis and planning, ed. F. Fisher, and J. Forester, 43. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Hajer, M. 1995. The politics of environmental discourse: Ecological modernization and the policy process. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  20. IIED (International Institute for Environmental Development). 1984. Environmental refugees. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  21. IPCC. 2007. Working group 2, Climate change 2007: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, summary for policy makers. Fourth Assessment Report (AR4): IPCC.Google Scholar
  22. Lonergan, S. 1998. The role of environmental degradation in population displacement. Environmental Change and Security Project Report 4: 5–15.Google Scholar
  23. McGregor, J. 1994. Climate change and involuntary migration: Implications for food security. Food Policy 19: 120–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. McNamara, K.E. 2007. Conceptualizing discourses on environmental refugees at the United Nations. Population and Environment 29: 12–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Morinière, L. 2012. Environmentally influenced urbanisation: Footprints bound for Town? Urban Stud 49(2): 435–450.Google Scholar
  26. Mougeot, L. 1992. Outmigration induced by environmental degradation. In World Bank (Ed.). Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
  27. Myers, N., N. Golubiewski, and C. Cleveland. 2007. Scientific uncertainty and public policy. In Encyclopedia of earth, ed. C. J. Cleveland. Washington, DC: Environmental Information Coalition, National Council for Science and the Environment.Google Scholar
  28. Niemeyer, S., J. Petts, and K. Hobson. 2005. Rapid climate change and society: Assessing responses and thresholds. Risk Analysis 25: 1443–1456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. O'Riordan, T., and A. Jordan. 1999. Institutions, climate change and cultural theory: Towards a common analytical framework. Global Environmental Change 9(1999): 81–93.Google Scholar
  30. Peritore, N. P., and K. A. Galve-Peritore. 2000. Ecopolitics in the global south: A Q method study of elites in seven nations. In Social discourse and environmental policy: An application of Q methodology, eds. H. Addams and J. Proops. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  31. Renaud, F., J.J. Bogardi, O. Dun, and K. Warner. 2007. Control, adapt or flee: How to face environmental migration? InterSections: Interdisciplinary Security Connections, No. 5.Google Scholar
  32. Renaud, F.G., O. Dun, K. Warner, and J. Bogardi. 2011. A decision framework for environmentally induced migration. International migration, Special Issue: Environmentally induced migration in the context of social vulnerability. 9(s1): e5–e29.Google Scholar
  33. Richmond, A.H. 2001. Reactive migration: Sociological perspectives on refugee movements. Refugee Studies 6: 7–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Rogers, A. 2008. Demographic modeling of the geography of migration and population: A multiregional perspective. Geographical Analysis 40: 276–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Russill, C., and Z. Nyssa. 2009. The tipping point trend in climate change communication. Global Environmental Change-Human and Policy Dimensions 19: 336–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Saunders, P.L. 2000. Environmental refugees: The origins of a construct. In Political ecology: Science, myth and power, ed. P. Stott, and S. Sullivan, 218–246. London: Arnold.Google Scholar
  37. Saxena, K.B. 2008. Development, displacement, and resistance: The law and the policy on land acquisition. Social Change 38: 351–410.Google Scholar
  38. Schmolck, P. 2002. PQMethod Freeware, V2.11. http://www.lrz-muenchen.de/~schmolck/qmethod/index.htm. Accessed 5 June 2011.
  39. Sonnett, J., B.J. Morehouse, T.D. Finger, G. Garfin, and N. Rattray. 2006. Drought and declining reservoirs: Comparing media discourse in Arizona and New Mexico, 2002–2004. Global Environmental Change-Human and Policy Dimensions 16: 95–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Stainton-Rogers, W. 1997–1998. Using Q as a form of discourse analysis. Operant Subjectivity 21: 1–72.Google Scholar
  41. Stephenson, W. 1953. The study of behavior; Q-technique and its methodology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  42. Stephenson, W. 1978. Concourse theory of communication. Communication 3: 21–40.Google Scholar
  43. Stern, N.H. 2007. The economics of climate change: The Stern review, 692. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  44. UNOCHA, and IDMC. 2009. Monitoring disaster displacement in the context of climate change. In United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ed.).Google Scholar
  45. von Storch, H., and W. Krauss. 2005. Culture contributes to perception of climate change: A comparison between the United States and Germany reveals insights about why journalists in each country report about this issue in different ways. Nieman Reports 59: 99–103.Google Scholar
  46. Warner, K. 2010. Global environmental change and migration: Governance challenges. Global Environmental Change 31: 43–63.Google Scholar
  47. Webler, T., S. Danielson, and S. Tuler. 2009. Using Q method to reveal social perspectives in environmental research. Greenfield: Social and Environmental Research Institute. http://www.fairnessdiscourse.com/pdf/Webler%2520-%2520Using%2520Q%2520Method%2520to%2520Reveal%2520Social%2520Perspectives.pdf. Accessed 7Aug 2012.
  48. Wodak, R., and M. Meyer. 2009. Methods for critical discourse analysis. London: SAGE.Google Scholar
  49. Wolf, J., K. Brown, and D. Conway. 2009. Ecological citizenship and climate change: Perceptions and practice. Environmental Politics 18: 503–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Woods, M. 2010. Performing rurality and practising rural geography. Progress in Human Geography 34: 835–846.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lezlie C. Erway Morinière
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Mohammed Hamza
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.University of Arizona (Office of Arid Land Studies, OALS)TucsonUSA
  2. 2.Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)OxfordUK
  3. 3.Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB)StockholmSweden
  4. 4.Global Climate Adaptation Partnership (GCAP)OxfordUK
  5. 5.Oxford Brookes UniversityOxfordUK
  6. 6.Lund UniversityLundSweden

Personalised recommendations