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Beach clean-ups and other civic engagement for the protection of the environment in Kuwait

Lenze, Nele (2021) Beach clean-ups and other civic engagement for the protection of the environment in Kuwait. Kuwait Programme paper series (10). LSE Middle East Centre, London, UK.

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Informed by English and Arabic sources, including information published by NGOs and grassroots organisations, government information campaigns, social media posts and original interviews with a small number of people in the environmental community in Kuwait, this paper argues that civic engagement is an important factor in caring for and promoting environmental concerns in Kuwait. Contrary to the argument that there is minimal citizen engagement in rentier states, the research finds both Kuwaitis and long-term residents actively engage in community work. Historically, this civic engagement in Kuwait has been associated with social and political changes, such as the 2006 ‘Orange Movement’ which successfully lobbied to reduce the number of electoral districts. Using a theoretical framework of participation culture, the paper highlights how one of the main drivers of change related to the awareness of environmental challenges in society derives from organisations such as NGOs and activist groups, including the Kuwait Dive Team, the Kuwait Water Association, Mw6iny and Trashtag. Social media is central to how these groups communicate their initiatives to the population. The participation of private individuals, who aim to improve living conditions in the country, ensures many of the environmental projects in Kuwait continue. Compared to other Gulf states, the political system in Kuwait permits greater and freer civic engagement which allows for democratic forms of organisation and for the public to be involved in social and political developments.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author
Divisions: Middle East Centre
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2021 07:24
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 23:53

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