David Meinen’s dissertation research analyzes emergent human mobilities in and from Haiti as a result of extreme weather events and the prolonged effects of climate change. More specifically, he is interested in the multitude of ways in which peoples’ mobilities constitute discourses of insecurity that are constructed in Canada and the global North at large, as well as the governance strategies employed to manage these ostensible threats. His research is guided by two questions: (1) How, and in what ways, does the inscription of (in)security discourses into Canadian migration and climate change policies and conversations inform Canada’s management strategies for environmentally-induced migrants (‘climate migrants’) in Haiti? And (2) What are the impacts of these strategies on climate migrants? These questions are important because they force a reflection on the ways in which security is invoked to meet this challenge, and how this invocation holds very real consequences for the politics of humanitarianism, development, and mobility.
Through a unique combination of methodologies that include a genealogical reconstruction of past ‘problematizations,’ critical discourse analysis, and field interviews, David aims to flesh out his hypothesis that the preliminary securitization of climate migrants is precipitating a shift in the work of Canadian NGOs in Haiti. He analyses this trend through the convergence of three conceptual nexuses – security-development, migration-development, and humanitarian-security – that operate to introduce less visible narratives of insecurity into development and climate change imaginaries, which further justifies the containment of mobile populations in the south. Ultimately, his goal is to challenge the attendant narratives and management strategies to the three nexuses and reflect on ways for moving forward in addressing this emergent problematic through broader visions of social justice and strategies for change.