Lessons from history for Yemen’s state-building challenges

The notion of Yemen – as a nebulous place, without clear boundaries – predates the formation of Western nation states by more than a thousand years. Yet despite the best efforts of Yemeni ministers and technocrats, assisted by Western diplomats and international development consultants, the grand project of state building has never been completed. Why is this? As I discovered during the research for my new book – Yemen Endures – the modern Yemeni state developed, in part, as a reaction to regional and international changes set in motion during the twentieth century, including the demise of the Ottoman Empire, the rise of Arab nationalism and the collapse of British colonialism. To the north,

The Yemen Trend - April 2017 Issue

In April, talk of the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Yemen was dominated by warnings that a military offensive on the port city of Hodeidah could induce famine. However, according to the World Food Programme, there are indications famine is already occurring in some of the hardest-hit districts, masked by governorate-level statistics. On the political front, UN Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh said in late April he is “a bit optimistic” efforts to steer the parties away from confrontation in Hodeidah could lead to the resumption of peace talks by the end of May, although no concrete steps in that direction have yet been announced. The military operation to retake the Red Sea coast progressed

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