|Abstract or Summary
- Kuwait has undergone dramatic political and economic transformations over the past century. From the rapid transition to an oil-based economy in the 1940s to the unexpected Iraqi invasion in 1990, change has been constant. While much of the focus has been on the economy and society, it is also true that the Kuwaiti environment and indeed the public perception of the environment has also experienced rapid change during Kuwait’s relatively short history as a modern country. This research looks into the effect this transformation has had on the natural environment and why environmental policies have not been resonating with the public in Kuwait to achieve the goals of the modern environmental movement. By studying narratives through the Narrative Policy Framework (NPF) from religious and economic institutions, we conclude that values of individualism and survival have defined the social context of Kuwait over the past 26 years. Such values prioritize economic development and growth with little regard to the environmental externalities that can result from the fossil-fuel economy. Narratives also suggest that hierarchal values are strong in Kuwait. Reforms to the environmental policy regime could capitalize on such values by empowering the leadership in Kuwait to champion environmental causes to put the country on a sustainable track.