Dr Samid Suliman
Despite the looming need to tackle emergent forms of "climate migration' head on, national governments have, heretofore, not acted swiftly or decisively to ensure that such movements occur without the assault on human security that is too often associated with displacement due to social, political, economic and environmental collapse. Furthermore, non-national governance actors (such as international institutions, non-governmental organisations, customary authorities, and civil society activists) have not been able to act decisively in this space. Therefore, there is a need to develop innovative solutions to climate migration in the region. In order do so, however, it is necessary to understand why this issue has not been regarded as a regional priority, and why there is so little agreement about what to do about the movement of people when the seas are already rising. This paper problematizes current "climate migration' governance arrangements in Oceania - or the lack thereof. In doing so, it outlines a proposed study of how ideas about regionalism and mobility - and conflicts between different ideas about regionalism and mobility - are shaping migration governance arrangements in Oceania. This project aims to understand how different ideas about the region (and the role of movement therein) animate different political actors and find expression in different migration governance institutions, not all of which are commensurate. The significance of this project lies in the fact that it is tackling the problem of climate migration in Oceania in terms of both tangible governance arrangements in the region, and the ideas that lie behind them. Drawing together the material and ideational elements of regional climate migration politics is a necessary step in conducting the kind of political research demanded in the Anthropocene, and developing new principles for integrating just and secure "climate mobilities' into regional governance arrangements.
Samid Suliman is Lecturer, Migration and Security in the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science at Griffith University, Australia. He is also a member of the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research. His work has recently appeared in Review of International Studies, Globalizations and Mobilities. Samid was awarded the Australian Political Studies Association's 2015 Thesis Prize for his doctoral dissertation, 'Migration, Development, and Kinetic Politics'. He is currently researching the governance of "climate migration' in Oceania, the visual politics of (in)secure migrations, and the security-aeromobility nexus (with Kaya Barry). Samid is also interested in theorising the role of movement in world politics.
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