Who are they and where are they going? Examining the emerging norms of the international "climate refugee" in New Zealand

MacDonald, Lucy (2015) Who are they and where are they going? Examining the emerging norms of the international "climate refugee" in New Zealand. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Climate change induced migration is the displacement of people due to the effects of anthropogenic climate change, and it is predicted that there will be between hundreds of thousands to millions affected worldwide. Yet, it is not yet known whom these people “are.” Are they “climate migrants,” “climate refugees,” or something else? Does it matter what we call them, legally and normatively? Using a constructivist approach, New Zealand’s recent experiences with two of the first climate change related immigration cases are examined. The findings indicate that legally, “climate refugees” do not exist in domestic or international law, and that a protection gap exists. Additionally, using discourse analysis, it was found that the “climate refugee” is an accepted frame by the New Zealand public, likely due to shared normative understandings grounded in human rights. The results point to the need for a standardized language and normative international framework in order to move forward with protection measures.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/8512
Item ID: 8512
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 77-82).
Keywords: climate change, norm generation, climate refugees, governance, migration
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Political Science
Date: June 2015
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: New Zealand
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Emigration and immigration law--New Zealand; Human beings--Effect of climate on--New Zealand; Environmental refugees--New Zealand; Refugees--International cooperation

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