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The political economy of a fledgling democracy

The many Maldives

History often repeats itself – sometimes as a tragedy, sometimes as a farce. Some editorials over the past few weeks have referred to the Maldives’ 2008 elections as a precursor of the Arab spring, now reversed; others are puzzled by the rapidity with which the international community acknowledged the new President, and abandoned ex-president Nasheed – who had, after all, enjoyed substantial political support from Prime Minister Cameron's UK Conservatives and has been likened with Presidents Mandela and Obama. By Gabriele Köhler and Aniruddha Bonnerjee


The burning turmoil and violence in the Maldives has come as a shock for those who equate the small country either hedonistically with the sun, beaches and high-end tourist resorts; or, as environment activists, appreciate the Maldives as a leader of visible and vocal action to address climate change; or as proponents of democracy have welcomed its introduction in the Indian archipelago. The ex-president Mohammed Nasheed led the movement of small island states and other countries at sea level for drastic action on global warming, speaking with evidence and passion at the UN General Assembly, in the climate summits, and hosting a dramatic underwater cabinet session to raise awareness ...

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Find in this article:

Leader of drastic action against global warming
Three Maledives
Struggling with the crisis
Parallels with the Arab spring

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