IKETIS - The Mediation of Climate change Induced Migration

  • Doyle, Julie (PI)
  • Behrendt, Frauke (CoI)
  • Sakellari, Maria (CoI)

Project Details


The IKETIS project concerns the mediation of climate change-induced migration and the implications for meaningful media discourse and empowerment of key intermediaries to raise public awareness.

Ideas and narratives about climate change are increasingly playing a structuring role in the broader social and political sphere and mass media are important forums for the application of these ideas and narratives to the political and economic status quo. Yet, whilst climate change has gained news coverage in the UK, it is still largely seen as an environmental or political issue, with little discussion in UK news media of the social aspects of climate change such as migration.

As climate change is likely to become the most significant cause of population displacement in the coming years, the IKETIS project will seek to influence the media agenda to more meaningfully engage with this issue.

The IKETIS project will seek to raise awareness in the UK of the need for action to address climate-change-induced migration and will focus on the mediation of the climate refugees’ issue.

The first aim of the action is to understand the representational practices that shape media and NGOs discourse about climate refugees.

The second aim is to build capacity of journalists, NGOs and policy-makers, key intermediaries in the mediation of climate change induced migration, to enhance social support for policy actions.

Together, both aims contribute to the transformation of how climate change induced migration is perceived and provide new patterns of critical thinking and civic engagement.The research consists of four phases:
i) identify the policy, institutional and definitional factors that may impede meaningful media discourse on the issue
ii) perform critical discourse analysis (image and text) and frame analysis of the representations of climate change induced migration of UK online news media
iii) using these findings, then move on to examine how UK humanitarian and environmental NGOs utilise and challenge frames identified by online news media coverage of climate displacement and
iv) based on the understanding of the representational practices that formulate climate refugees mediated discourse, promote climate justice approach to frame climate change and build capacity of journalists, NGOs and policy-makers to best use climate justice approach through e-learning strategies.

This training-through-research scheme will provide the applicant with the necessary skills to develop competences in media theory, visual communication, critical discourse and frame analysis and digital media research and plan an academic career track for a better integration into the academic community, while the applicant will be of specific benefit to the research-informed teaching that forms the basis of the host institution’s approach to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching practice.

The IKETIS project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme through the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions initiative. Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) provide grants for all stages of researchers' careers and encourage transnational, intersectoral and interdisciplinary mobility. The MSCA enable research-focused organisations to host talented foreign researchers and to create strategic partnerships with leading institutions worldwide. Dr Maria Sakellari is supported as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow to complete this project.

Key findings

Slowly but steadily, migration emerges as a climate change adaptation strategy, as policy documents such as the UK’s Government Office for Science Foresight project report and the European Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change specifically document, but the UK public is more concerned by and opposed to migration than publics in Europe and North America, as represented by the recent Brexit decision.

The IKETIS project will provide a more nuanced and complex understanding of how climate change will have human impact within Europe and thus place important focus upon an under-researched area that has material effects on people’s lives. Analysing the representational practices that shape the discourse about climate change-induced migration:

- would fill an important gap in the climate change communication field
- can help to show how public views are constructed and reflected and
- can assist capacity building of journalists, NGOs and policymakers, key intermediaries in the mediation of climate change-induced migration, to enhance social support for policy actions, such as incorporating migration into climate change adaptation strategies.
Short titleIKETIS
Effective start/end date3/04/172/04/19


  • Horizon 2020


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.