Migrating Towards Vulnerabilities: The Impacts of Structural Violence on Myanmar Migrants in Phuket, Thailand

  • Angelica de Jesus-Bretschneider
Part of the The Urban Book Series book series (UBS)


The concept of climate resilience is widely criticized for its neutral and apolitical approach to planning for climate change. Resilience practitioners typically conduct vulnerability assessments to identify how institutions, systems, and actors are at risk from climate change. They mainly focus on climate exposure, sensitivity, and the adaptive capacities of essential infrastructure systems such as settlement areas, water supply networks, and food systems. Resilience practitioners do not emphasize the inherently political nature of vulnerability and the broader social structures that create or reinforce vulnerabilities, especially for marginalized people. My research on the lives of 80 Myanmar migrants in Phuket, Thailand, serves as a case study for the importance of taking a directly political approach to planning for climate resilience. I provide empirical evidence on the vulnerabilities of Myanmar migrants in Phuket, Thailand, as embodied structural violence. People who are underrepresented in policymaking and planning processes in Thailand, including Myanmar migrants, often bear the disproportionate costs of climate change. Thus, resilience practitioners must advocate for an explicitly political, inclusive, and participatory approach that incorporates the experiences and knowledge of all people.


Climate resilience Structural violence Migration Myanmar Thailand Phuket 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and PlanningUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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