Special Issue "Environmental (Non-)Migration in the Face of Climate Change Adaptation"

A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Bishawjit Mallick

Chair of Environmental Development and Risk Management, Faculty of Environmental Science, Technical University of Dresden, Germany, 01069 Dresden, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Interests: environmental non-migration, regional planning, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,


Recent debates, developments, and policies on climate change are mainly concentrated on migration and migrants. People who are unable and/or declining to move away from their place of origin despite facing onsets of climate change are thus ignored. Research shows that more or less one-third of the people who are affected by an environmental disaster decide to migrate (mostly temporary), and the rest decide to stay put. The existing state-of-the-art revolves around migrants, their journeys, destinations, rights, and wellbeing. Another cohort of climate change migration experts has challenged the notion of migration in existing literature. In their views, the development of a neoliberal information infrastructure allows people to make cognitive migration decisions temporarily to improve their outcomes, which eventually leverage their capability to stay put. In short, migration has been discussed from the perspectives of factor, velocity, rhythm, route, experience, and friction.


Over the last two decades, a lot of research and policy dialogues have been published on climate change-induced migration or environmental migration. Concurrently, many projects and programs in similar domains have been implemented and are running all over the world. However, the rationale of staying put (non-migration) is grossly absent, both in development initiatives and literature. Some literature certainly strived to capture reasons for not moving from the place of origin despite being exposed to environmental onsets. To them, social connectedness; community feelings; place of attachment; and lack of information, skills, and capital are the main reasons for keeping people in their place of origin. Following the above discussion, there is a need to explore migration decisions (either migrate or stay put) and debates from vulnerable regions all over the world. I would like to invite you to fill in this gap in environmental migration and adaptation studies by contributing to Social Sciences.


In this Special Issue, I invite papers—particularly the discourses on environmental migration and non-migration—that explore the challenges of adaptation practices in the face of climate change. This SI is aimed at knowing why and how the migration decisions (to migrate/stay put) of people at risk (those who are vulnerable to climate risks) are made, what kind of role the social, economic, cultural, political, and environmental conditions of the respective societies and locales play in migration decisions, and how these discourses be can theoretically and conceptually grounded.


I invite original research papers that reflect a broad range of discourses from both migration and non-migration in the context of climate change adaptation. Papers can be based on empirical case studies and/or conceptual work that is ‘tailored’ to suit the environmental (non-)migration conversation in general, and which captures one or some of the following aspects: indicators of (non-)migration; community cohesion and non-migration; disaster and migration; the impact of environmental change on factors that reduce migration; social communication and network, stakeholders, and migration; circular migration and non-migration nexus; trapped population; gender and migration, etc.

Dr. Bishawjit Mallick

Guest Editor


  • environmental migration
  • environmental non-migration
  • disaster-induced displacement
  • non-migration
  • migration
  • climate change adaptation
  • trapped population
  • environmental refugee
  • adaptation planning

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Climatic Impacts and Responses of Migratory and Non-Migratory Fishers of the Padma River, Bangladesh
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(12), 254; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7120254
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 26 November 2018 / Accepted: 27 November 2018 / Published: 3 December 2018
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This study empirically assesses the impacts of climatic events on the inland fishers (i.e., migratory and non-migratory) in Bangladesh and explores their responses to those events. Here, the migratory refers to the fishers who change their fishing location seasonally and voluntarily, whereas the [...] Read more.
This study empirically assesses the impacts of climatic events on the inland fishers (i.e., migratory and non-migratory) in Bangladesh and explores their responses to those events. Here, the migratory refers to the fishers who change their fishing location seasonally and voluntarily, whereas the non-migratory fishers fish in the same area. It is assumed that there exist differences in both the impacts of an event and the responses to the event between migratory and non-migratory fishers and therefore, a ‘difference triangle’ conceptual framework is developed and tested empirically under this research. Employing mix-method (qualitative and quantitative), a field study was conducted during July–October 2015 from the Padma River depended fishers. Identified climatic events under this study are: storms, changes in rainfall and temperature and riverbank erosion. The migratory and non-migratory fishers were affected quite similarly by storms and changes in rainfall and temperature. However, riverbank erosion affected only non-migratory fishers. Both the migratory and non-migratory fishers adopted different strategies to cope with different climatic events, like, they took shelter in safe places, sold productive assets, reduced food consumption, took credit from informal sources and employed their school-going children. As adaptation strategies, they modernized their fishing boats, intensified fishing, built embankments and diversified livelihoods. Unlike the impacts, considerable differences were found in their coping and adaptation strategies. Comparing to non-migratory fishers, a smaller number of migratory fishers sold their assets, took informal credit and intensified fishing and diversified their livelihoods. The result of this study indicates the significance of differences in the impacts of climatic events for the migratory and non-migratory fishers and therefore, this research has policy implication for the betterment of fishers’ community in general. Full article

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