Legacy of Authoritative Environmentalism and Path-Dependent Historic Institutionalism in the Climate Change Policy Dynamics of the Maldives

  • Ibrahim MohamedEmail author
  • David King


The Maldives is considered one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. Particularly, the Maldives is facing challenges of democratic governance and transparency, crucial for effective climate change policies and strategies. Limited financial and technical capacity also challenges integration of climate change in environmental policies. There is a dearth of studies on climate change politics and policy of small island nations like the Maldives. Hence, understanding policy dynamics of climate change in a political context is crucial. In this study, the theory of authoritative environmentalism was combined with insights from international relations and comparative politics of historic institutionalism to understand the climate change policy dynamics of the Maldives over the past twenty-five years. The study utilized a qualitative design using document analysis triangulated with semi-structured interviews. The results indicate the implementation and outcomes of climate change policy in the Maldives are influenced by a legacy of authoritative environmentalism and path-dependent historic institutionalism in governance. Consequently, political leadership at the highest level plays a crucial role in the implementation and outcomes of climate change policy in small island states.


Climate change policy Historic institutionalism Authoritative environmentalism Adaptation Democracy Maldives 



We would like to thank the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Australian Government for funding the primary researcher’s Ph.D. project at James Cook University. We are also grateful for the support and assistance provided by the College of Marine and Environmental Sciences of James Cook University. We also would like to acknowledge the heads of Live and Learn Environmental Education Maldives and Eco-Care Maldives for their assistance. Also special thanks to the staff of the Ministry of Environment and Energy and Dr. Mariyam Shakeela, for her contribution. We appreciate the editor in chief and the reviewers of this book, for their guidance.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Marine and Environmental SciencesJames Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Centre For Disaster ManagementJames Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia

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