Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2017 Rachel H Spiegel
The threat of global climate change increasingly influences the actions of human society. As world leaders have negotiated adaptation strategies over the past couple of decades, a certain discourse has emerged that privileges Western conceptions of environmental degradation. I argue that this framing of climate change inhibits the successful implementation of adaptation strategies. This thesis focuses on a case study of the Maldives, an island nation deemed one of the most vulnerable locations to the impacts of rising sea levels. I apply a postcolonial theoretical framework to examine how differing knowledge systems can both complement and contradict one another. By analyzing government-enforced relocation policies in the Maldives, I find that points of contradiction between Western and indigenous environmental epistemologies can create opportunities to bridge the gap between isolated viewpoints and serve as moments to resist the dominant climate change discourse.
Spiegel, Rachel Hannah, "Drowning in Rising Seas: Navigating Multiple Knowledge Systems and Responding to Climate Change in the Maldives" (2017). Pitzer Senior Theses. 76.
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