Grant TypePost PhD Research Grant
Institutional AffiliationSouth Carolina, U. of
Grant numberGr. 10460
Approve DateApril 6, 2023
Project TitleDoering-White, John (South Carolina, U. of) "Anticipating Humanitarian Climate Futures along the Central American Migration Trail through Mexico"
Central America is one of the world regions considered most vulnerable to climate-related displacement. As discussion mounts among policymakers regarding the formal inclusion of ‘climate refugees’ into existing asylum frameworks, this ethnographic study considers how people fleeing Central America conceptualize climate-related displacement and how those understandings align’or not’with the efforts of humanitarian organizations in Mexico to anticipate related policy shifts. Over the past decade, nongovernmental migrant shelters across Mexico have emerged as key spaces for documenting shifting patterns of violence and vulnerability and for helping migrants access formal humanitarian recognition, transforming Mexico into a space of both transit and resettlement. Conceptually, this study contributes to anthropological discussions about anticipation as a form of governance by chronicling ongoing efforts to align climate realities, climate futures, and a humanitarian infrastructure built around interpersonal violence. Through interviews and participant observation with migrants, aid workers, and others, this study will document how climate-related displacement is made visible and obscured through everyday aid practices, chronicle ongoing inter-shelter efforts to revise documentation practices in anticipation of climate-related policy shifts, and trace how alignment and disjuncture between climate-related displacement and existing asylum frameworks shapes the experiences of people pursuing refugee status in Mexico.