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Situating ‘migration as adaptation’ discourse and appraising its relevance to Senegal's development sector

Samuel Lietaer and David Durand-Delacre

ULB Institutional Repository from ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles

Abstract: Academic and policy domains are increasingly constructing ‘migration as adaptation’ as a policy ideal against alarmist, security-oriented approaches to the climate-migration nexus. However, our knowledge of how development actors in national contexts view and use migration as adaptation in practice remains limited. Based on 90 interviews with development stakeholders, this paper demonstrates the limited reach of the migration as adaptation policy ideal in Senegal's development sector. It is considered too vague a concept to operationalise and is in tension with the wider discursive context on migration and development, marked by sedentary bias which requires ‘addressing the root causes of migration’, including environmental change, to ‘fix populations in place’. A dominant discourse accommodates sedentary bias. It allows for a narrow application of migration as adaptation through ‘return migration’ and ‘diaspora mobilisation’ projects. These target only existing migrants, avoiding new mobility solutions. A minority counter-discourse rejects sedentary bias, emphasising freedom of movement.

Keywords: Diaspora mobilisation; Discourse analysis; Environmental change; Migration as adaptation; Senegal (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-12-01
Note: SCOPUS: ar.j
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Published in: Environmental science & policy (2021) v.126,p.11-21

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