Dr Elise Remling is a Researcher in the Climate Change and Risk Programme at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Her current work focuses on how how international organizations are thinking about and responding to climate-related security risks.

Elise has a background in both academic and policy-oriented research in the field of climate change and sustainable development with expertise on the social and political implications of climate change. Located at the interface between human geography, political science, and development studies, her research has centred particularly on the process of adaptation to climate change at different levels of governance.

The focus of her work has been on the different institutions, organisations, and mechanisms by which adaptation is negotiated, governed and financed. It has also explored the social consequences of current adaptation governance systems in terms of their efficiency, effectiveness and equity, and whether they truly reach ‘the most vulnerable’. In doing so, Elise has studied the multilateral governance level (e.g. the UNFCCC Adaptation Fund), the regional/supranational level (e.g. the European Union and the development community in the Pacific Island region), the national level (e.g. climate policies in Kenya and Germany), and the very local level (e.g. community-based adaptation on a remote outer island in Fiji). In addition, Elise has worked on more conceptual explorations, for instance the possibility of adaptation initiatives redistributing vulnerability from one group to another rather than reducing it, and the affective, non-rational dimensions of adaptation discourses.

Elise received her PhD in Environmental Sciences from Södertörn University, Sweden, in 2019. Her thesis explored the politics of adaption decision-making by focusing on the more informal, tacit rules and rule-making mechanisms. Drawing on Poststructuralist Discourse Theory, it looked specifically at the role of discursive power, values and norms at different levels of governance, as well as the affective fantasies animating adaptation responses.

Elise holds a M.Sc. in Geography with a major in climate change from the University of Hamburg, Germany, and a dual majors B.A. in Social- and Cultural Anthropology and Geography from the University of Münster, Germany.


Selected publications:

  • Remling E. (2020): Migration as climate adaptation? Exploring discourses amongst development actors in the Pacific Island Region. In: Regional Environmental Change. DOI: 10.1007/s10113-020-01583-z.
  • Remling E. (2018): Depoliticizing Adaptation: A Critical Analysis of EU Climate Adaptation Policy. In: Environmental Politics. DOI: 10.1080/09644016.2018.1429207.
  • Remling, E. (2017): Logics, assumptions and genre chains: a framework for poststructuralist policy analysis. In: Critical Discourse Studies, DOI: 10.1080/17405904.2017.1382382.
  • Atteridge, A. & E. Remling (2017): Is adaptation reducing vulnerability or redistributing it? In: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, DOI: 10.1002/wcc.500.
  • Remling, E. & J. Veitayaki (2016): Community-based action in Fiji’s Gau Island: a model for the Pacific? In: International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, 8 (3), 375–398, DOI: 10.1108/IJCCSM-07-2015-0101.