Front cover

Climate Migration Governance and the Discourse of Citizenship in India

January 2023 Author: Dr Ritumbra Manuvie, University College Groningen, University of Groningen, The Netherlands



  • Published: January 2023
  • Pages: xvii + 163 pp. (37 ill., 22 fc)
  • Publisher: T.M.C. ASSER PRESS
  • Distributor: Springer

This book offers an in-depth analysis of how governments in vulnerable regions respond to climate migrations. The author argues that, despite the newness of the discipline, responding to hydro-meteorological disasters at the sub-state level is fairly old and institutionalised. Using the example of India, and the State of Assam, the author demonstrates how existing rights-based frameworks are used as norms for governing climate migrations. However, these normative frameworks become futile when the sub-state simultaneously contests the status of climate migrants as legitimate citizens. Instead, the responsibility is replaced with pity-making and the state becomes an empathetic spectator - who understands the misfortune but refuses to be held accountable for either the development or protection of those worst affected by climate change. Those who migrate due to climate change often find themselves stripped of their lands (because of erosion) and their political belonging to the society.

The volume will be useful for those studying climate migrations and disaster responses to better understand how communities which are most affected by climatic disasters may not even have a right to have rights against the State they found themselves in.

Ritumbra Manuvie is a Senior Researcher and Lecturer of Law at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. The author studied migration, citizenship, and belonging in Assam during her doctoral work at the University of Edinburgh. She is currently part of the ELSA - North Netherlands lab which aims to study Ethical, Legal, and Sociopolitical factors that influence the usage of AI in the health sector.

Specific to this book:

  • Looks at the climate migration governance in the State of Assam in India, a global climate migration hotspot
  • Analyses how the international discourse on climate migration is translated and framed in the national context
  • Provides an ethnographic account of how the construction of citizenship is used to exclude climate migrants
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