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Open AccessArticle

Keeping People in Place: Political Factors of (Im)mobility and Climate Change

Department of Geography, Faculty of Sciences, The Hugo Observatory: Environment, Migration, Politics, University of Liège, 4000 Liège, Belgium
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(8), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8080228
Received: 1 May 2019 / Revised: 4 July 2019 / Accepted: 11 July 2019 / Published: 29 July 2019
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PDF [329 KB, uploaded 5 August 2019]

Abstract

While those ‘trapped’ or who choose to stay in areas affected by climate change represent a substantial policy issue, there only a small amount of empirical work specifically targeting such populations. The scant attention that is afforded to immobility often emphasizes financial constraints as factors driving (involuntary) immobility. As an essential part of the mobility spectrum, the complexity of immobility in crisis, including its political dimensions, warrants thorough investigation. In response to these gaps, this contribution locates environmental immobility within mobilities studies, its conceptual complexities, and, finally, illustrates the importance of political factors in shaping (im)mobilities. The findings are based on semi-structured interviews conducted in two developing countries experiencing the impacts of climate change. We delve into the socio-cultural and economic nature of (im)mobilities as they interact with political forces, specifically by exploring international bilateral agreements (Senegal) and a relocation program (Vietnam). In political spaces that are dominated by a desire to limit human mobility and (re)produce stasis, we challenge traditional dichotomies between mobile/immobile and sedentary/migration polices by underlining how policy interventions can simultaneously promote mobility and immobility, demonstrating complex co-existing mobilities. Keeping people in place can, in fact, mean allowing the very same people to move. View Full-Text
Keywords: immobility; climate change; environmental migration and mobility; trapped populations; migration governance; Senegal; Vietnam; planned relocation immobility; climate change; environmental migration and mobility; trapped populations; migration governance; Senegal; Vietnam; planned relocation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Zickgraf, C. Keeping People in Place: Political Factors of (Im)mobility and Climate Change. Soc. Sci. 2019, 8, 228.

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