The Maldivian dilemma: Development or environment. A study into the impact of the trend towards de-democratization on the politics of climate change adaptation
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This thesis examines the way that the degree of democracy has an impact on climate change adaptation. It takes the country of the Maldives as a case study to demonstrate how there has been a recent trend towards de-democratization since President Abdulla Yameen has been in office, and examines how this impacts the politics of climate change adaptation. The thesis combines theoretical and empirical data through an integrated approach, to uncover (i) what the major climate change threats in the Maldives are, (ii) what adaptation methods have been implemented to respond to those climate change threats, (iii) how the political system in the Maldives has undergone a gradual trend towards de-democratization over the last years, and (iv) in what ways de-democratization has impacted the politics of climate change adaptation. It concludes that President Yameen’s strategies of recentralization, population consolidation, climate change minimization and censorship have led to a decrease in local environment authorities empowerment, ‘islandness’, local capacity and community resilience, and public consultation. These consequences have made local-level adaptation to climate change threats more difficult.