Climate, migration, and sex: the biopolitics of climate-induced migration


Journal Article


Reid, J.


Climate, migration, and sex: the biopolitics of climate-induced migration




Critical Studies on Security

Vol (No), pp

2(2), 196-209


Relations between climate and migration have received a lot of attention of late, in policy literatures concerned with problematizing it as a source of threat to the security and stability of international order, but also from authors concerned with interrogating its discursive constitution from more critical and less-conservative angles. This paper contributes to the development of latter approaches by problematizing the relations between migration and climate as a phenomenon of biopolitics, tightly connected to theories and discourses on and of population, poverty, and sexual reproduction. The paper demonstrates the contrasting ways in which climate-induced migration is dealt with, not just between poor and nonpoor, but human and animal species, especially in terms of the ways in which their reproductive capacities are differentially targeted for biopolitical intervention. Showing how climate-induced migration is governed through the creation of differential modes of biopolitical intervention, the paper also explores how we might counter its pathologization. This requires recognizing the nature of the biopolitical aesthetic and imaginary that is at work in the problematization of climate-induced migration. Stepping outside the dominant framing of the phenomenon, the paper argues for the creation of a different political imaginary through which to welcome and celebrate the mixing of life that occurs when living things migrate and reproduce across climatic boundaries.


Reid, J. (2014). “Climate, migration, and sex: the biopolitics of climate-induced migration.” Critical Studies on Security 2(2): 196-209.