International Development, Community, and Environment

Title

The Migration-Sustainability Paradox: Transformations in Mobile Worlds

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Migration represents a major transformation of the lives of those involved and has been transformative of societies and economies globally. Yet models of sustainability transformations do not effectively incorporate the movement of populations. There is an apparent migration-sustainability paradox: migration plays a role as a driver of unsustainability as part of economic globalisation, yet simultaneously represents a transformative phenomenon and potential force for sustainable development. We propose criteria by which migration represents an opportunity for sustainable development: increasing aggregate well-being; reduced inequality leading to diverse social benefits; and reduced aggregate environmental burden. We detail the dimensions of the transformative potential of migration and develop a generic framework for migration-sustainability linkages based on environmental, social, and economic dimensions of sustainability, highlighting identity and social transformation dimensions of migration. Such a model overcomes the apparent paradox by explaining the role of societal mobility in achieving sustainable outcomes.

Publication Title

Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability

Publication Date

4-1-2021

Volume

49

First Page

98

Last Page

109

ISSN

1877-3435

DOI

10.1016/j.cosust.2021.03.013

Keywords

migration, sustainability, globalization

Disciplines

Growth and Development | International and Area Studies | Migration Studies | Sociology

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