+1 Recommend
    • Review: found
    Is Open Access

    Review of 'Addressing Environmental Migration in the European Union Discourse'

    Addressing Environmental Migration in the European Union DiscourseCrossref
    Good level of completeness and innovative value that need a bit of restructuring
    Average rating:
        Rated 4 of 5.
    Level of importance:
        Rated 5 of 5.
    Level of validity:
        Rated 3 of 5.
    Level of completeness:
        Rated 4 of 5.
    Level of comprehensibility:
        Rated 3 of 5.
    Competing interests:

    Reviewed article

    • Record: found
    • Abstract: found
    • Article: found
    Is Open Access

    Addressing Environmental Migration in the European Union Discourse

    For decades, the European Union (EU) has been addressing issues related to climate change and ecological degradation as a self-proclaimed pro-environmental and human rights-oriented actor. Correspondingly, the topic of environmentally driven migration entered the EU discourse at the dawn of the new millennium. As such, environmental migrants around the world find themselves in an existential crisis and are in need of support whether it comes to questions of compensations, relocation, protection of cultural heritage etc. Thus, considering the EU’s interest in the human rights and environmental/climate issue areas, I argue it is important to ask what the Union’s approach to this matter has been. Consequently, this article assesses the European Union discourse related to the topic of environmental migration over a twenty-year period. Through the theoretical lens of the Copenhagen School of Security Studies and the normative power EU conception, this paper critically analyzes the EU’s securitization of climate change in relation to environmental migrants who are experiencing an existential threat to their lives. Based on a qualitative discourse analysis, the preliminary results imply that the topic has been receding into the background of the EU agenda. In line, environmental migrants have been pushed aside by a multiplicity of other subjects threatened by climate change, and their problems were thus not reflected in either the EU climate change or migration management policies. Overall, the findings show a shift from an alarmist discourse to pragmatism on the EU’s behalf. Thereupon, this article questions the normative standard the EU sets for itself when it comes to the case of environmental migrant protection.

      Review information

      This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com.

      Political science
      Discourse Analysis,European Union,Climate Change,Climate change,Normative Power,Politics of the environment,People and their environment,Securitization,Migration

      Review text

      Overall, the paper uncovers a significant topic and approaches it with a good level of completeness. The combination of different analyses has innovative value and relevant findings emerged for the field. I also found particularly relevant the jargon reflection that shows evidence of the lack of an overall recognition, and therefore, an overall methodological approach to deal with the theme. However, I believe the paper could be improved from the point of view of the structural organisations: 

      First, the article shows evidence of a discrepancy between EU normative standards and expectations. However, in some parts of the paper (i.e., end of page 7), the main aim/objective seems weak and with small consistency with the introduction section. I would be bolder in systematically remembering the reader the main goal of the study.

      Second, the methodology is somehow hidden in the text (mostly on page 8), and it would be much more understandable to have a dedicated section for this. A 'materials and methods' chapter would help frame all the approaches implied in the analysis:

      • Manners’ normative power EU (NPE) concept;
      • the securitization approach of the Copenhagen School of Security Studies
      • a qualitative discourse analysis (QDA) applied to twenty years of EU discourse

      Third, a final section for 'recommendations' or 'further research' could be added to emphasise the importance of the topic and open up discussion on future scenarios.  

      Lastly, in terms of contents, it would be worthed to deepen the discussion regarding Global North and Global South; Migration in general, and Environmental migration in particular, is commonly associated with the South of the World. Nowadays, this conception is outdated and may be interesting to see how the EU normative is approaching it. 


      2023-11-05 14:04 UTC

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