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Greening for Self-Conservation? Energy Security and Responses to Climate Change in the Small Gulf Monarchies\ud



This thesis explores the energy security and climate change-related responses of the small oil and gas-exporting monarchies of the Persian Gulf at the turn of the 21st century. At a more fundamental level, the study is a detailed examination of the natural resource-related ‘unsustainabilities’ of these political economies. The study centres on a comparison of two structurally similar monarchies, Abu Dhabi and Qatar, which have responded to the issue of climate change with differing intensity and divergent methods. Departing from a regime survival strategy-oriented approach, the thesis aims to determine the drivers and motives of change and divergence behind the energy security and climate change-related perceptions, approaches, and policies of these two monarchies’ governments at both domestic and foreign policy levels. In parallel, the study examines the emerging natural resource-related challenges and vulnerabilities.\ud \ud Positioned in the intersection of Middle East studies and International Relations, the study pursues a multi-level and multi-causal explanation: At the domestic level it applies the concepts of rentierism and neotraditionalism for understanding the dynamics and elaborate strategies of regime survival that influence policy choices. At the foreign policy level (UNFCCC) it draws from the realist school of IR for the purpose of analysing the monarchies’ policies and positions.\ud \ud The study demonstrates how, at the domestic level, government responses are produced by the interactions of rentier structures, individual elite members, regime survival strategies, local institutions, and external opportunities and pressures. Despite the important role of the systemic and international environments, the study finds that the domestic environment has a strong influence at the foreign policy-level, and that the interests and perceptions of the decision-making elite, and the power relationships and dynamics of the decision-making system are an essential determinant of these responses.\u

Topics: Persian Gulf, GCC, United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, climate change, energy security, sustainable development
Year: 2011
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Durham e-Theses

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