Climate Refugees: The Fabrication of a Migration Threat

Prof. Dr. Hein de Haas, UNU-MERIT

In recent years, it has become popular to argue that climate change will lead to massive North-South movements of ‘climate refugees’. However, to link this issue with the specter of mass migration is a dangerous practice based on myth rather than fact. In his lecture, "Climate Refugees: The Fabrication of a Migration Threat", Prof. Hein de Haas will argue how the use of apocalyptic migration forecasts to support the case for urgent action on climate change is not only intellectually dishonest, but also puts the credibility of those using this argument - as well as the broader case for climate change action - seriously at risk.

With this lecture series, the European Law Student Association, Refugee Project Maastricht, the Maastricht Young Academy (MYA), the Maastricht Center for Citizenship, Migration and Development (MACIMIDE) and UNU-MERIT aim to provide an objective picture on the topic of migration and offer new insights. To do so, different aspects around migration are analyzed and different perspectives are given on how states might deal with the influx of refugees in the future. In a number of lectures, experts will talk about topics such as myths and misconceptions in the area of migration, dealing with high displacement, gender and migration, citizenship, EU Asylum Law and more.

About the speaker

Hein de Haas is Professor of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam. He holds an extraordinary professorship in Migration and Development at UNU-MERIT/Maastricht University. He is a founding member and a former director of the International Migration Institute (IMI) at the University of Oxford. He also maintains a blog on migration-related topics.

De Haas is co-author (with Stephen Castles and Mark Miller) of The Age of Migration: International Population Movements in the Modern Worlda leading text book in the field of migration studies.

His research focuses on the linkages between migration and broader processes of social transformation and development in origin and destination countries. His theoretical and empirical publications cover a wide range of issues, including migration determinants, migration policies, the development implications of migration, transnationalism and rural-urban transformations. He did extensive fieldwork in the Middle East and Africa and, particularly, in Morocco.

Hein de Haas has a PhD in social sciences (Radboud University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands), MA (cum laude) in human and environmental geography (University of Amsterdam) and an undergraduate degree in cultural anthropology.

Venue: UNU-MERIT Conference Room

Date: 12 February 2020

Time: 19:00 - 20:30  CET