Call for Papers International Conference: Migration and Environmental Change 8th and 9th December 2016, Berlin

Call for Papers

International Conference: Migration & Environmental Change 8th and 9th December 2016, Berlin

           This call for papers addresses an international and interdisciplinary audience in the field of “Migration & Environmental Change”. Under the auspices of the project “New Regional Formations: Rapid Environmental Change and Migration in Coastal Regions”, this CFP invites contributions from the broader field of social and political sciences as well as migration studies focusing on the interplay of environmental change with processes of regional transformation. The international conference is to be held in Berlin, December 8th and 9th 2016. The aim of the conference is to discuss the dimensions and dynamics of the nexus between environmental change and migration and mobility, with a particular focus on the situation of coastal areas. Coastal areas are generally perceived as highly vulnerable in the context of climate change. The conference aims at complementing this perspective by inviting presentations that include other regional settings and other types of environmental change. Researchers are welcome to submit papers on the various aspects in which the nexus between (coastal) environmental change and migration and mobility is experienced and interpreted in societies around the World, and in particular in South East Asia and Western Africa. The conference is organized around five panels:

  1. Regional environmental change. Today, a wide array of remote sensing techniques and field- based geospatial methodologies allow to identify and to trace changes in coastal morphology over the past decades and longer. This session highlights new and integrated methods to reconstruct environmental change. Of particular interest are GIS data presenting coastal changes based on historical aerial photographs, satellite images, the application of drones and other photographical evidence, as well as the outcomes of sedimentological studies that implement investigations on changes in meteorological and hydrological conditions and its effects on the coastline.
  2. Risk Cultures, perceptions and narratives: Established institutions as well as non-institutional settings are governed by cultural codes, narratives and symbols that find expression via art, music and religious performances. The perception of risks or of what might constitute risks by individuals and groups might influence migration decision making and thus is crucial for understanding the overall cultural setting in which migration and mobility occur. This session invites papers that address the cultural dimension and representation of environmental change and migration. It welcomes a focus on contributions that interpret institutions and social motives as culturally structured and flexible.
  3. Migration, mobility, migrant trajectories and diaspora: Internal and interregional migration within many countries of the global south is a dominant feature regarding population dynamics. Migration trajectories increasingly follow international pathways and connect communities to the global diaspora. These linkages of local, regional, and global migratory circuits interfere with questions of environmental change and development. This session puts major emphasis on identifying (im)mobility patterns in relation to environmental change. It invites contributions on the persistence or change of migrant trajectories under changing climatic and/ or environmental conditions over time.
  4. Economic household strategies and resource management. This session sheds light on the different economic household strategies as related to environmental events. It focuses on adaptation strategies, on migration decisions as well as on resource management. It highlights the management of common pool resources and investigates risk behavior of individuals in face of changing environmental conditions. It also asks in which respect migration decisions might be affected by such risk behavior or by other preferences, such as patience and trust.
  5. Policies and politics of adaptation and resilience: Global environmental change is expected to fundamentally increase societal risks and the need of sound strategies to adapt to those changes. The focus of this session is to investigate processes of political decision making in the context of regional environmental change by taking into account heterogeneous actors and institutions: “traditional” governmental authorities from different levels, diaspora communities, local grass root organizations, influential informal institutions, and international corporations or donor organizations in the OECD – world.

Abstracts 300-350 words plus full name, institution, and the author(s) contacts, should be sent by June, 27th 2016 to:

Giulia Borri ( , Leibniz-Institute for Research on Society and Space, Erkner, Germany or Dr. Johannes Herbeck (, University of Bremen, Center for Sustainability Studies (artec), Bremen, Germany

Notification of acceptance or non-acceptance of proposals will be made via email by July 15th, 2016.

In case of further questions please do not hesitate to contact us: Prof. Dr. Felicitas Hillmann ( The conference is organized by the “New Regional Formations” Research Group based in Germany, and is supported by the Volkswagen Stiftung, Hannover, Germany.


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