Institut Jean Nicod

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Climate-change induced islands flooding and displaced sovereignty

 

Directeur - Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde

Public - M1/M2

Dates - 2022/2023

  

Smaller Islands States (SIS) (e.g. Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau...) are threatened in their existence by the climate-change induced rising of sea levels. Bangladesh will shrink but there is a possibility of complete submersion for SIS. The 1933 Montevideo convention on the rights and duties of States stipulates that statehood implies : permanent population, permanent territory (land), effective government, and international relations. These criteria are challenged by sea level rise. How are sovereignty and statehood principles affected by this ongoing process and which political and legal statuses will prevail for people in exile with no hope of returning to their land ? Should the concerned populations be absorbed in other countries and acquire a new citizenship, or should there be a special status within exile countries for these climatic refugees, or again should the submersed states continue to exist in some alternative territorial form ?

[political philosophy, constitutional law, political sciences, geography, climatic refugees]


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