Threatening Dystopias

Threatening Dystopias

The Global Politics of Climate Change Adaptation in Bangladesh

Cornell Series on Land: New Perspectives on Territory, Development, and Environment

by Kasia Paprocki

Published by: Cornell University Press

276 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 x 0.00 mm, 24 b&w halftones, 2 maps

  • ISBN: 9781501759161
  • Published: December 2021



Threatening Dystopias shows how in Bangladesh—described by many as the world's most vulnerable country to climate change—national and global elites ignore the history of landscape transformation and intense, contemporary political conflicts. At the same time, these elites also craft narratives and economic strategies that redistribute power and resources away from peasant communities in the name of climate adaptation.

These strategies outline a vision of development in which urbanization and export-led growth are both desirable and inevitable—a far cry from climate justice. For the country's rural poor, contends Kasia Paprocki, development entails dispossession from agrarian livelihoods and outmigration from rural communities to urban centers. Increased production of export commodities reframes the threat of climate change and its associated migrations as an opportunity for economic development and growth. As Paprocki shows, a powerful peasant movement is resisting these trends, but its struggle is hampered by oversimplified discourses of climate emergency.

Threatening Dystopias draws on ethnographic and archival fieldwork with development practitioners, policy makers, scientists, farmers and rural migrants, to investigate the politics of climate change adaptation in Bangladesh. Paprocki offers an in-depth analysis of the global politics of climate change adaptation and how it is forged and manifested in this unique site.