Human and National Security in Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates - Should Climate Change Matter?
Thomas, Jeremy Hywel
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This PhD thesis examines the Gulf monarchies of Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates as they strive to transform their political economies away from dependency on hydrocarbon revenues into more diverse sectors of economic activity. In particular, the research attempts to forecast the monarchies’ chances of achieving the transformation into principally private sector-led economies, while maintaining absolute rule and excluding those outside the circle of the ruling élites from political power or influence. The central research question guiding the study is ‘Human and National Security in Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates – Should Climate Change Matter?’ The effects of climate change provide a useful lens through which to examine each of the states’ policies and actions as they attempt to cope with the physical degradation of an already water and heat-stressed environment, coupled with declining oil and gas revenues from the West as a result of international climate change agreements. The thesis applies a ten question research framework to each of the entities to produce individual case studies for comparison. The research finds that climate change is acknowledged as an issue by each of the states, but is not at the top of their list of priorities. Rather, measures to improve human security are aimed at maximising the economic productiveness of each country to make up the deficit caused by decreasing hydrocarbon revenues and enable the monarchies to maintain the high level of free and subsidised state services they currently provide to their populations. They believe the effective maintenance of services directly contributes to political stability which assures the continuance of their current system of governance where political power lies solely with the rulers and their close advisors. Essentially, the priority for each of the ruling families is not climate change, but regime survival, preferably in its current form.
PhD in Strategy and Security