Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science

Document Type



Climate change is a topic most often broached by environmental scientists and activists and its effects are discussed in terms of animal populations and atmospheric events. However, its direct effect on human life is yet to garner such attention. A changing climate will affect how people are able to use their environment, if at all. Sea level rise and desertification will force a shift in human habitation. How the world seeks to deal with this shift is yet to be seen. The global governance of climate change-induced displacement is currently at the stage of ad hoc development. Legal and conceptual categorization of this group has been difficult and slow moving with no one organization or structure volunteering to take up this task. A major impediment to the addition of climate change-induced displacees into current governance systems is determining who is responsible for them. This has created a conflict of interests between intergovernmental governance structures and their member states. Global governance structures are poised to have the greatest reach around the earth. Nevertheless, their ability to incorporate climate displacees into current structures depends on the political will of its members. This paper presents a qualitative case study of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) which outlines the constraints which have impeded any expansion of their mandates to assist this growing group of people.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Ray, Leonard