Conceptualizing discourses on environmental refugees at the United Nations

This paper conceptualizes the absence of multilateral protection for environmental refugees. It does this by critically scrutinizing interviews conducted with United Nations ambassadors and senior diplomats in 2004 (n = 45) in a number of key policy-making locations. These interviews reveal that an absence of policy on environmental refugees has been reproduced by discursive politics at the United Nations. The reasons for which are explored here in this paper, and include shifting attitudes towards the role of multilateralism and environmental issues generally.

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