Displacement, Development, and Climate Change: International organizations moving beyond their mandates

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A new book by GEG Associate Nina Hall will be released on 27 April, 2016. The book focuses on one critical challenge: climate change and explores how our existing global institutions are responding to it.

Climate change is predicted to lead to increased intensity and frequency of natural disasters. An increase in extreme weather events, global temperatures and higher sea levels may lead to displacement and migration, and will affect many dimensions of the economy and society. Although scholars are examining the complexity and fragmentation of the climate change regime, they have not examined how our existing international development, migration and humanitarian organizations are dealing with climate change.

Focusing on three institutions: the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations Development Programme, the book asks: how have these inter-governmental organizations responded to climate change? And are they moving beyond their original mandates, given none were established with a mandate for climate change? It traces their responses to climate change in their rhetoric, policy, structure, operations and overall mandate change. 

Hall argues that international bureaucrats can play an important role in mandate expansion, often deciding whether and how to expand into a new issue-area and then lobbying states to endorse this expansion. They make changes in rhetoric, policy, structure and operations on the ground, and forge, frame and internalize new issue-linkages.

Find out more and order.