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Challenging climate change and migration discourse: different understandings of time-scale and temporality in the Maldives

Arnall, A. and Kothari, U. (2015) Challenging climate change and migration discourse: different understandings of time-scale and temporality in the Maldives. Global Environmental Change, 31. pp. 199-206. ISSN 0959-3780

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.01.011

Abstract/Summary

This article draws on ongoing research in the Maldives to explore differences between elite and non-elite perceptions of climate change and migration. It argues that, in addition to variations in perceptions based on diverse knowledge, priorities and agendas, there exists a more fundamental divergence based upon different understandings of the time-scale of climate change and related ideas of urgency and crisis. Specifically, elites tend to focus on a distant future which is generally abstracted from people’s everyday lived realities, as well as utilise the language of a climate change-induced migration ‘crisis’ in their discussions about impacts in a manner not envisaged by non-elites. The article concludes that, rather than unproblematically mapping global, external facing narratives wholesale onto ordinary people’s lives and experiences, there needs to be more dialogue between elites and non-elites on climate change and migration issues. These perspectives should be integrated more effectively in the development of policy interventions designed to help people adapt to the impacts of global environmental change.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Economic and Social Sciences Division > Livelihoods Research
ID Code:39096
Publisher:Elsevier

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