Dr Sarina Theys

Research Associate Climate Change Governance, 

United Kingdom

English, Dutch
United Kingdom

Research Focus

Climate change is a critical issue for Pacific island countries and the islanders. Although they contribute the least to global warming, Pacific island countries and islanders are at the forefront of one of the immediate consequences that threaten their existence: sea-level rise. Rising sea-level is caused by the expansion of seawater as it warms and the melting of glaciers. As a result, scientists have predicted that some of the land territories of the Pacific island countries will become uninhabitable by 2050 or will be fully submerged by 2100. Current studies mainly investigate the effects of sea-level rise on the physical and/or territorial security of the Pacific island countries and islanders. I expand the analytical scope of climate security by distinguishing between physical/territorial security and ontological security and argue that states and people also seek ontological security. Ontological security entails the security of the subjective sense of who one is, i.e. self-identity.


  • The ontological security of Pacific island countries and islanders in the context of climate change


  • Research Associate Climate Change Governance

Global goals

Target 13.2
Target 13.3
Target 13.B
Target 14.C
Target 16.9


  • United Kingdom