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The transfer and mobilisation of sustainability concepts to Abu Dhabi: the case of Masdar and the Urban Planning Council

Mascarenhas, Prianjali (2018) The transfer and mobilisation of sustainability concepts to Abu Dhabi: the case of Masdar and the Urban Planning Council. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.8sz20dh39s36

Abstract

This thesis aims to understand the politics, implications and interpretations associated with the transfer and mobilisation of sustainability concepts from elsewhere into Abu Dhabi. The emirate’s pursuit of sustainability encompasses opportunities and also complexities which require trade-offs and creative solutions amidst the demands of globalisation and the existing authoritarian status quo. Exploring the rationale for the transfer of sustainability concepts from elsewhere into Abu Dhabi and its subsequent mobilisation in the local context expands our understanding of the different mechanisms, processes, platforms and change agents that enable sustainability-driven assemblages to thrive. By juxtaposing theoretical constructs from the academic literature on policy mobility, policy transfer and related governance, against empirical data in the areas of housing, transport, energy and urban design, nuanced meanings and experiences associated with the transfer and mobilisation of sustainability emerge. By situating Abu Dhabi’s sustainability developments relationally within the context of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) nations, exploring the historical, social and political factors that have influenced the adaptation and interpretation of foreign sustainability concepts at multiple levels including the institutional level at Masdar and the UPC, this research on Abu Dhabi adds new knowledge to studies on policy mobility. Similarly, solutions that emerge as a result of concepts and actors moving and engaging across time and space expands our understanding of policy transfer processes in an authoritarian context. The nuances of the local context cannot be underestimated, particularly around the assertion of authoritarian power, persisting inequalities, and the forms of knowledge production and governance that emerge.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2018 Prianjali Mascarenhas
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Sets: Departments > Geography and Environment
Supervisor: Holman, Nancy and Thornley, Andrew
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/3835

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