My research focuses on the impacts of climate change on global migration, and the normative frameworks that can address these impacts. It looks at the possible development of new policies and instruments that could deal with these migration flows, and aims at assessing normative frameworks, and integrate them with risk assessments and adaptation strategies.
François Gemenne’s doctoral
dissertation was jointly conducted at the Centre for International Studies and
Research (CERI) at Sciences Po Paris, and at the Centre for Ethnic and
Migration Studies (CEDEM) of the University of Liege (Belgium). Thanks to a
postdoctoral fellowship of the AXA Research Fund, he is now a research fellow
at the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations
(IDDRI). He also teaches the international politics of climate change and the
governance of migration at Sciences Po Paris.
His research deals with the
policy responses that aim to manage, and sometimes protect, populations
displaced by environmental changes. He has conducted field studies in New
Orleans after hurricane Katrina, and in the archipelago of Tuvalu, threatened
by sea-level rise, as well as in China and Central Asia.
Since 2007, he has been
supervising the research clusters on Asia-Pacific and Central Asia of the
European research project EACH-FOR (standing for Environmental Changes and
Forced Migration Scenarios). The project aims to describe the empirical
linkages between migration and environmental changes, in a comparative
perspective. In addition, he also worked as a scientific advisor for the
exhibition ‘Native Land. Stop Eject’ by Raymond Depardon and Paul Virilio,
currently on show in Paris at the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain.
He holds a Master in
Development, Environment and Societies from the University of Louvain, and a
Master of Research in Political Science from the London School of Economics,
where he also taught. His recent publications include 'Development, Environment
and Migration' (with R. Stojanov, J. Novosak, J. Opiniano and T. Siwek, 2008),
‘Panorama des principaux axes de recherche sur le changement climatique’
(Critique Internationale 40 : 141-152), ‘History, Nationalism and the
(Re)construction of Nations’ (edited with Susana Carvalho, 2009). He is
currently working on a volume on the international politics of climate change.
My research deals with the
impacts of climate change on global migration, and the normative frameworks
that can address these impacts.
Environmental migration has recently sparked a lot of
interest from academics and policy-makers alike, especially in relation to
climate change. Most of the academic attention has been directed towards an
analysis of the environment-migration nexus, while the policy responses,
cooperation mechanisms and institutional arrangements have been less studied, especially
in a comparative and cross-disciplinary perspective. The research undertook
during my PhD was aimed at studying the policy responses that addressed
migration flows associated with natural disasters and environmental changes.
I tried to show that environmental policies and migration
policies had evolved in different directions, at different paces, but neither
of them were able to address adequately the migration flows induced by
environmental disruptions, especially in relation to climate change.
My current research builds upon the work undertook during my
PhD, and looks at the possible development of new policies and instruments that
could deal with these migration flows. In particular, I plan to assess the
political feasibility of the development of such normative frameworks, as well
as to integrate them with risk assessments and adaptation strategies.
My doctoral research was
mostly descriptive, aimed at identifying the policy gaps with regard to
environmental migration. The post-doctoral research funded by AXA is the direct
follow-up of this work, and looks for solutions that could fill in these gaps,
both at the international and regional levels. The post-doctoral research has a
prospective orientation, and examines possible normative frameworks that could
be developed, and how they could be implemented. Therefore, it is much more
policy-oriented than the PhD research, and aims to be of direct practical
relevance with regard to the protection of those uprooted by climate change.
funding of AXA also allowed me to join the Institute for Sustainable
Development and International Relations (IDDRI), one of France’s leading
research centres on environmental affairs, so that my background in migration
studies can be enriched by environmental studies – a perspective deeply needed
for a research at the crossroads of environmental and migration studies.