Victimization in a Climate Constrained World

Victimization in a Climate Constrained World

Members

Coordinator
Prof. Dr. Kieran G. Mundy
Co-researchers
Prof. Dr. John P. J. Dussich (TIVI), Dr. Vesselin Popovski (UNU), Mr. Nicholas Turner (UNU)

Research Period

April 2009 ~ March 2012, 3 years

Executive Summary

The aims of the project are: (1) to define the conceptual and empirical relationship between the physical science of global environment change and victimization; (2) to scope the extent and degree of projected global environment change victimization; (3) to describe the reaction of victims to primary environmental assaults and secondary assaults by responders, family and government agencies and agents; (4) to propose a new paradigm of human security to strengthen and extend existing political conceptions of security; (5) to determine which agents of state, or other agents may be accountable for GEC primary victimization; (6) to explain the process of global environment change victimization that may occur gradually over time as, for example in genocide, in comparison with victimization following single disastrous natural events (e.g. typhoons) with the aim of developing GEC risk assessment models; and (7) to alleviate the burden of suffering of victims of environmental change by proposing justified social actions such as the development of coordinated and effective support services and advocacy at the national, regional and international levels.

The project consists of seven main components; (1) to determine that those people more likely to be victimized by future global environment change lack control over life events, and tend to belong to subgroups of any society which may include various “minorities” (e.g. children, women, populations of megacities and in coastal deltas, indigenous people, etc.); (2) to scope the degree and extent of global GEC victimization with focus on those people ‘at risk’ in environmentally fragile nations, and to do so in the context of the national security challenges posed by the multiplier effect of GEC victimization; (3) to describe GEC victimization from the perspective of the person affected and to contrast this with the normative socially constructed definitions of GEC victimization by responders, family, and government and non-government agencies and other agents as to what constitutes climate change victimhood, climate change victimization, and of the reactions of the self to climate change victimhood, and of others to victims and victimizations in these circumstances; (4) to construct a new paradigm of human security to strengthen and extend existing definitions of human security from the perspective of the GEC victim and based on Maslow’s (1954, 1960) hierarchy of needs construct that physical victimizations due to environmental assaults have to be dealt with by each person before psychological and socio/emotional victimizations; (5) to explore what has not previously been researched, let alone understood, the process of environmental change victimization with no clear defined perpetrator that may occur gradually over time in comparison with victimizations due to single, disastrous natural events with a readily identifiable perpetrator or perpetrators in, for example, situations of domestic violence or genocide; (6) to determine which agents of state or other agents are responsible for the promotion and protection of livelihood security, food security, water security, environmental security, ecological security, and other human rights in a future environmentally changing world, and for the restoration of these fundamental securities if identified agents fail by deliberate action or omission (secondary assaults or victimization) in their international or personal commitments to protect these securities with the aim of creating international standards to demand such responsibility (such as the R2P doctrine on genocide and crimes against humanity), and (7) to develop victim risk assessment models to assess the impacts of GEC forcing on people, with focus on the basic impact of unregulated and regulated population displacement to provide a basis for the development of GEC migration policies at the national, regional and international levels.

The Project will link the existing severely limited field data about GEC victimization at the individual level, field observations concerning from the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports and others sources, and output from new and existing models of victimization due to global environment change and natural disasters, with the management objectives and needs defined by international organizations, regional bodies, national governments, and other non-governmental stakeholders. Specific models to be developed include psychological models of pre-threshold decision-making displacement anxiety (pre-event traumatic stress disorder, or PETSD) and post-traumatic stress disorder specifically as it applies to the impact of migration (i.e., PTSD/Climate Change), models of causal attribution for climate change including attribution of responsibility over time and space, models defining threshold unregulated human displacement events and factors leading to regulated population, and risk assessment of victimization models. The project intends to build on methods and models already developed and/or used. These, and other theoretical conceptions, will be adapted and extended to various global regions to allow assessment of the key projected interactions between an environment-constrained world and those people most likely to be victimized as a result. These tools will range from process-based simulation models to empirical models, with focus on making use of existing data, and incorporating new data from large-scale observations such as data derived from interview schedules.

The main deliverables of the project include: (1) systematic analysis of key interactions between the physical science of global environment change and the behavioral response of people in the most environmentally-challenged regions of the planet who have been negatively impacted by global environment change; (2) a new paradigm of human security from the perspective of the GEC victim to strengthen and extend existing limited definitions of human security; (3) a newly identified category of perpetrators of global environment change that could/should be incorporated into the criminal justice system in the case of evident criminal negligence by State authorities or other agents for inaction, or slow action to adopt mitigation strategies to protect against GEC victimization (i.e. victimization by omission); (4) victim risk assessment models to assess likely behavior due to GEC forcing that provide a basis for the development of GEC migration policy at the national, regional and international levels; and (4) a basis for more coordinated service delivery to alleviate the suffering of GEC victims at the national, regional and international levels.

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