Adaptation as biopolitics: WHY state policies in Turkey do not reduce the vulnerability of seasonal agricultural workers to climate change

Ethemcan Turhan, Christos Zografos, Giorgos Kallis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. There is a growing interest in the connection between climate change and migration, but literature so far has mostly focused on climate refugees, permanent migrants, and the implications for destination countries. Seasonal workers, one of the most vulnerable groups in the agricultural sector, have received scant attention. Nonetheless, several governments are already planning action to ensure the adaptation of seasonal workers to a changed climate. This article focuses on two recent social and climate change policies adopted by the Turkish government targeting seasonal workers. Based on a discourse analysis of the two policies and fieldwork carried out on a site of intervention, the article argues that such policies, although employed in the name of adaptation, are in fact biopolitical interventions. Their main purpose is to secure the uninterrupted circulation of commodities and workers rather than reduce root causes of vulnerability. As a result the responsibility to adapt is individualized. We contribute to an incipient literature on biopolitics and climate change by showing how the spectre of climate change and the pretext of adaptation serve to expand the state's control of populations rather than reduce core vulnerabilities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-306
JournalGlobal Environmental Change
Volume31
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

Keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Biopolitics
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Seasonal workers
  • Turkey
  • Vulnerability

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