The Planetary Politics of Climate Mobilities

ECMN workstream


At the first ECMN conference held in Vienna, Ingrid Boas and Jeroen Warner from Wageningen University held a workshop on the geopolitics of climate im/mobilities and relocation. The idea of the workshop was to develop this theme into a working stream for the conference around which people could organize themselves, organize events, etc. This workstream, on the advice of the participants, has since been renamed into “The Planetary Politics of Climate Mobilities”. On this page we share some key notes and follow-ups from that first meeting:

Key notes from the first meeting in Vienna


  • Participants welcome greater attention to the role of power relations in climate mobilities research. Much of the current climate/environmental mobilities debate centers either on the micro or on the macro level (everyday livelihoods or e.g. UN politics). Needed is to better connect the two. This means paying attention of the politics of for example climate finance and how this shapes adaptation futures on the ground.
  • Questions were raised how to democratize the concept of geopolitics, how to decentralize it, in line with emerging literature on everyday geopolitics, paying attention to questions of emotions and practices
  • It was proposed to pay more attention to imaginaries of the future in geopolitics, and making them understandable to those who feature in it.
  • It was discussed to how the concept enables a more critical analysis of the border vis-a-vis the practice and framing of migration and climate change.
  • Participants expressed an interest in the politics of space, scale, territoriality and imagination, and in the politics of boundary making (sea-land, internal-international) and its justice implications.
  • People also expressed an interest in the study of the geopolitics of resources and mobilities. They saw issues of nationalism, protectionism, as understudied, e.g. in the context of the EU migration deals.

Moving Forward

  • A key discussion was whether geopolitics was the right term. It centers on the Westphalian state system in which nation-states are central, whilst ignoring other scales (individuals, cities).
  • A proposal was instead made to rename the theme into Planetary Politics, moving beyond a mere human focus, and including other scales than the one of the nation state.

Steps taken since, and next meeting


  • A group of scholars who expressed key interest has met to develop these initial ideas further. This group exists of Giovanni Bettini; Ingrid Boas; Simona Capisani, Sarah Nash, Lily Lindegaard, Orit Gazit, Jeroen Warner.
  • Once ready, they will put forward an updated two-pager for this workstream on the planetary politics of climate mobilities.
  • We will hold another workshop with a wider group of interested participants at the next ECMN conference to discuss how to organise this workstream in a more inclusive manner, also hoping someone likes to step up as a coordinator. We will also make it a key theme for the ECMN Conference at Wageningen University

People interested in joining the activities of this workstream can reach out to Ingrid Boas: here


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Environmental and Climate Mobilities Network

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