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Citizenship in sustainable transition : a two-sided story about refugees and sustainability

Steensberg, Maja LU (2017) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM02 20171
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
The world is facing multiple crises, including ecosystem degradation, global climate change and human conflicts. One of the consequence is an unprecedented displacement of 65 million people in total and historic records in the number of asylum seekers in the European Union. This poses the challenge of how to integrate the increased number of refugees in an effective way. As immigration is only one of many convergent crises, integrated solutions are needed - solutions that provide synergies between human equity, well-being and environmental sustainability. To date, no research on sustainability within immigration studies has looked beyond sustainability as a condition for human development and examined the potential of sustainability... (More)
The world is facing multiple crises, including ecosystem degradation, global climate change and human conflicts. One of the consequence is an unprecedented displacement of 65 million people in total and historic records in the number of asylum seekers in the European Union. This poses the challenge of how to integrate the increased number of refugees in an effective way. As immigration is only one of many convergent crises, integrated solutions are needed - solutions that provide synergies between human equity, well-being and environmental sustainability. To date, no research on sustainability within immigration studies has looked beyond sustainability as a condition for human development and examined the potential of sustainability processes in solving social challenges that are not directly linked to environmental conflicts or degradation. This thesis seeks to demonstrate how processes towards environmental sustainability can also nourish socially inclusive and flourishing societies. Focus is on Denmark where the challenge of refugee integration has become a matter of particular importance and political focus. Denmark also faces significant challenges in its agricultural sector which is unsustainable both ecologically, economically and socially. Through a multiple-case study, this thesis explores how to better integrate refugees via sustainable projects and to provide the opportunities for them to take active part in sustainable transition in a local community. With a theoretical outset in the capability framework, the study finds evidence on how learning and practises for sustainability can have a positive effect on refugees in terms of enhancing their capabilities and motivation to take active part in sustainable processes. The case studies reveal that the examined initiatives form viable supplements and alternatives to current policies and practices within both fields. However, the case studies also show certain constrains pointing towards the need of a broad collaborations between governments, business and civil society as a condition for successful integration of refugees. This form the basis to discuss concepts of citizenship and elaborate on the theory of ecological citizenship. Supported by the case studies the research finds a potential of a new sense of citizenship that goes beyond territorial and nation-based cultural norms and values. The study suggests that approaching refugee integration, policy- makers should take a holistic approach and a long-term perspective. Finally, the thesis concludes that approaching sustainability as a process that can encourage more inclusive and democratic societies while also tackling environmental issues has so far unrevealed potentials. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Steensberg, Maja LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM02 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
ecological citizenship, Denmark, refugees, agriculture, sustainability science
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2017:029
language
English
id
8914997
date added to LUP
2017-06-18 16:13:25
date last changed
2017-06-18 16:13:25
@misc{8914997,
  abstract     = {The world is facing multiple crises, including ecosystem degradation, global climate change and human conflicts. One of the consequence is an unprecedented displacement of 65 million people in total and historic records in the number of asylum seekers in the European Union. This poses the challenge of how to integrate the increased number of refugees in an effective way. As immigration is only one of many convergent crises, integrated solutions are needed - solutions that provide synergies between human equity, well-being and environmental sustainability. To date, no research on sustainability within immigration studies has looked beyond sustainability as a condition for human development and examined the potential of sustainability processes in solving social challenges that are not directly linked to environmental conflicts or degradation. This thesis seeks to demonstrate how processes towards environmental sustainability can also nourish socially inclusive and flourishing societies. Focus is on Denmark where the challenge of refugee integration has become a matter of particular importance and political focus. Denmark also faces significant challenges in its agricultural sector which is unsustainable both ecologically, economically and socially. Through a multiple-case study, this thesis explores how to better integrate refugees via sustainable projects and to provide the opportunities for them to take active part in sustainable transition in a local community. With a theoretical outset in the capability framework, the study finds evidence on how learning and practises for sustainability can have a positive effect on refugees in terms of enhancing their capabilities and motivation to take active part in sustainable processes. The case studies reveal that the examined initiatives form viable supplements and alternatives to current policies and practices within both fields. However, the case studies also show certain constrains pointing towards the need of a broad collaborations between governments, business and civil society as a condition for successful integration of refugees. This form the basis to discuss concepts of citizenship and elaborate on the theory of ecological citizenship. Supported by the case studies the research finds a potential of a new sense of citizenship that goes beyond territorial and nation-based cultural norms and values. The study suggests that approaching refugee integration, policy- makers should take a holistic approach and a long-term perspective. Finally, the thesis concludes that approaching sustainability as a process that can encourage more inclusive and democratic societies while also tackling environmental issues has so far unrevealed potentials.},
  author       = {Steensberg, Maja},
  keyword      = {ecological citizenship,Denmark,refugees,agriculture,sustainability science},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {Citizenship in sustainable transition : a two-sided story about refugees and sustainability},
  year         = {2017},
}