My Thesis (Cake)

Photo credit: Richard Jones
Photo credit: Richard Jones

Hi! My name is Eleanor Meyer. This blog is my Thesis blog. I will be using this blog to upload interesting insights that I come across throughout the process of my thesis. These insights will be academic and fully referenced, but they will be accessible to the public.

Officially, my thesis utilises a critical frame analysis to analyse the political and legal representations of people affected by environmental changes so as to examine whether these representations negatively affect these people’s legal and policy outcomes.

In other words, my thesis recognises that there are disputed and controversial terms used to refer to “people affected by environmental changes”, most popular among them is “environmental refugee” or “climate refugee”. These terms are legally unfounded because of the specific meaning of the term “refugee”. Other terms used to name this phenomenon are found and examined through the critical frame analysis, the thesis’ chosen method of research. This method and the theoretical framework of this thesis – feminist informed frame theory – detail that the label of a phenomenon in policy arenas is liable to manipulation and relationships of power. In other words, the way you label a phenomenon is not necessarily the best linguistic representation of the social consequences of environmental disaster. The way you label a phenomenon is very likely at the behest of the political and legal environment.

Therefore, my thesis is examining how the phenomenon of climate change and human movement has been labelled, what labels exist and which have what effect for the actual people affected by environmental changes.

International Relations theory and feminist critique inform this thesis. Whichever label that is chosen or rejected offers a trail of power relations at the international level. Both IR theory and feminist critique offer insight into power relations at the international level. The following recipe offers a metaphoric explanation of the main components of my thesis:

My Thesis Cake:

One cup of methodology and theoretical framework – frame theory and feminist critique
One cup of method – critical frame analysis
Two cups problem – global climate change + existing social and physical vulnerabilities in poor regions = problem
One cup rejection of some frames – power relations
One cup preference of some frames – power relations
Two cups power relations – IR theory and feminist critque

= Thesis Cake*

So this is a rough and tediously simple distillation of my thesis. Following entries will “just add water”, to continue the metaphor, to “beef” up my explanation of my thesis to you!

*Outcome of Thesis Cake recipe is subjective and results may differ, depending on the cook