The Vulnerable State and Technical Fixes
An Analysis of Official Climate Change Discourses in Nepal
I conduct discourse analysis of seven selected official climate change policies and documents of Nepal. In the first part of my analysis, I draw from international climate justice discourses to analyze how policy makers construct Nepal’s position in the global arena, in relation to the issue of climate change. In the second part, I draw from political ecology and anthropological understandings of ‘vulnerability’ and ‘adaptation’ to analyze how policy makers construct those terms in the context of Nepal. The result shows that Nepal has adhered to the ‘vulnerability’ and ‘transition’ discourses, which serve as important tools to advocate for financial support from the international climate change regime. Driven primarily by international processes and guidelines, the climate change policies and documents in Nepal project a heavily technocratic approach with little socio-cultural considerations. Vulnerability is understood as a static property and assessed based on sectors and geographic areas, while adaptation is understood as series of actions to be implemented. Overall, the policies are at risk of perpetuating the existing systemic ills, as well as impeding imaginaries to pursue more radical socio-political and cultural change as effective adaptation measures.
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