Examining the relationship between climate change and migration and its socio-economic implications in Dhaka, Bangladesh
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Climate change and migration are two urgent global issues of our time, and their relationship is complex and unpredictable. Understanding the nature and implications of this relationship is crucial for policymakers, practitioners, and scholars seeking to devise effective responses and policies to tackle these “wicked problems.” Drawing on emerging scholarship and primary research, this dissertation sheds light on three interlinked issues related to climate change and migration nexus. First, earlier efforts to reconcile diverse conceptualizations of the climate change and migration nexus have had limited success. So far, despite significant research efforts by a few scholars to develop conceptual frameworks, challenges remain in our ability to gain a holistic understanding of diverse perspectives, knowledge domains, dimensions or scales, and drivers or factors that lead to differing migration decisions under climate change. Current limitations include inadequate comprehension of the migration patterns driven by climate change (e.g., who migrates, who remains, and the underlying reasons behind these choices). Second, our current knowledge about the effectiveness of migration as an adaptation strategy is inadequate, stemming from limited conceptual and empirical investigations conducted on this issue. As such, the extent to which migration can effectively serve as an adaptation response and any potential drawbacks associated with it remain unclear. Third, the significance of gender in shaping migration decisions under climatic conditions remains under-theorized and less comprehensively explored, even though gender plays a crucial role in shaping migration decisions and patterns. The specific ways in which climate change may shape gendered migration in varied contexts are not well understood, as there is no comprehensive review of empirical studies on gender and climate migration. This dissertation aims to contribute to the evolving knowledge of the complex relationships between climate change and human migration by addressing these interlinked issues. Chapter 2 is dedicated to developing an expanded, more holistic, and generally applicable conceptual framework that can be applied to understand migration decisions and different migration patterns in diverse contexts and regions worldwide. Building upon the identified limitations of existing conceptual frameworks and covering extensive theoretical and empirical grounds, this chapter develops a conceptual framework that integrates diverse perspectives and concepts (e.g., vulnerability, agency) to provide a more nuanced understanding of the complex nature of the relationships between multi-faceted climatic conditions and varying migration decisions and their effectiveness. This framework seeks to lay a foundation for further research examining climate migration in diverse forms and sets the tone for the rest of the dissertation. Chapter 3 presents the findings of an empirical case study on post-migration vulnerability situations of climate migrants in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to gain insights into the effectiveness of migration as an adaptation strategy. Based on large-scale household (n = 2,000) survey data and applying principal component analysis (PCA), this chapter assesses the socio-economic vulnerability of the climate migrants and compares that with other migrants and long-term residents by developing a composite vulnerability index (CVI). This chapter also analyzes and compares the longitudinal recall (perception) data on different aspects of their before and after migration situations. Chapter 4 conducts a systematic review of the empirical evidence (n = 33) in South Asia to fill out pertinent gaps in the empirical scholarship of the gender-climate change-migration nexus. This chapter identifies and characterizes different gender-differentiated migration responses under varying climatic conditions, assesses the agency involved in differentiated migration decisions, identifies emerging theories and methodological considerations, and examines how well ideas are distributed among disciplines through a bibliometric analysis. This chapter also highlights pathways through which gendered inequalities in climate migration may occur. Overall, this dissertation contributes to the emerging field of climate migration by offering theoretical, methodological, and empirical insights into these complex issues. By doing so, this dissertation advocates for further transdisciplinary and sustainability-oriented research and expects to guide future research and policy-making efforts aimed at developing effective and sustainable policies and practices for communities affected by climate migration.
Cite this version of the work
Dilruba Fatima Sharmin (2023). Examining the relationship between climate change and migration and its socio-economic implications in Dhaka, Bangladesh. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/19671