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Tracing Social Inequalitis in Environmentally-Induced Migration

Date and time

2012.12.09 to 2012.12.13, 12:00 AM to 12:00 AM


The conference series on "Environmental Degradation, Conflict and Forced Migration" explores the causal relationship between environmental damage and forced migration as well as the correlation of both phenomena to conflicts and their repercussions. The series started in 2010 with three consecutive biennial conferences and is a partnership project of the European Science Foundation (ESF), the Bielefeld University and its Center for Interdisciplinary Research.

The first conference 2010 focused on how environmental change impacts the interplay between vulnerabilities on the one hand and capabilities on the other hand, and how this relationship affects mobility patterns. The conference 2012, titled „Tracing Social Inequalities in Environmentally-Induced Migration“, concentrates on the societal backgrounds of this interplay and is meant to integrate a social inequalities perspective into current debates.

Social inequalities between world regions, countries, geographical regions, organizations, groups and categories of people involved in environmental and climate-induced migration constitute the core thematic focus, because not all actors are equally vulnerable to climate and environmental change and environmentally-induced migration. Differential susceptibilities and capabilities to cope with environmental change on local, national and global scales depend rather on resource inequalities, power inequalities and status inequalities. Differences in vulnerability are a result of and reproduced by the unequal impacts actors have upon politics and society and the material and immaterial resources at their disposal.

The conference 2012 is meant to shed light on the role of social inequalities in environmentally-induced migration and the mechanism of its reproduction. It is carried out in cooperation with the special research area of the Bielefeld University “From Heterogeneities to Inequalities” (CRC 882), the research project „Exils Climatiques: Gérer les déplacements des populations dues aux phénomènes climatiques extrêmes” (GICC-EXCLIM) and the COST Action IS1101 on Migration and Climate Change. The organizers of this year’s conference are J. Schade, T. Faist, C. Vlassopoulos, A. Baldwin. and F. Gemenne. The event takes place from 9-13th of December 2012 at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Bielefeld.




Bielefeld University







Forced Migration, Social Inequality, enviroment degradation, Germany

Economic sectors


Target groups

Policymakers, Public awareness, and Researchers

Regulation domains

Right to equality (social status)

Geographical focuses