This spring, Assistant Professor of Political Science Stacey Philbrick Yadav launched her new book, “Islamists and the State: Legitimacy and Institutions in Yemen and Lebanon” at an event at the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED), housed at the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University, Washington, D.C. POMED brings political scientists together with policymakers.
The book focuses on Islamists and cross-ideological opposition alliances in Yemen and Lebanon. A video is available of an interview conducted with Philbrick Yadav by George Washington University’s Marc Lynch, director of the Project on Middle East Political Science.
Over the past several years, Philbrick Yadav has been working with opposition activists from across Yemen’s political spectrum, and has begun working on a new book project related to their changing forms of activism before, during and after the Yemeni revolutionary movement in 2011. In April, she presented a talk, “We’re One, But We’re Not the Same: Solidarity, Difference, and Opposition(s) in Yemen,” at the University of Pennsylvania as part of this ongoing research project.
Also this year, Philbrick Yadav contributed to the work of the Yemen Policy Initiative (YPI), an effort coordinated by the Project on Middle East Democracy and the Atlantic Council designed to press for improved U.S. policy toward Yemen. She has also written about Yemen’s National Dialogue process for Foreign Policy and taught a seminar this spring on the political economy of reform and revolution in Yemen. As part of this seminar, she brought several dynamic participants in the Yemeni revolutionary movement and contributors to the YPI to campus, both in person and via Skype, for discussions with her students.
“Most enjoyable was the visit by Dr. Hamza al-Shargabi, a participant in the revolutionary movement and co-founder of the NGO #SupportYemen,” explains Philbrick Yadav. “Dr. al-Shargabi is a trauma physician who has worked for Doctors Without Borders and the United Nations Development Programme in crisis zones throughout Yemen and produced a number of powerful short documentaries during the 11-month popular uprising in Yemen in 2011.”
Additionally, Philbrick Yadav is a signatory to YPI’s most recent open letter to President Barack Obama and regularly tweets about Yemen-related issues via @philbrickyadav.
“One of the best aspects of teaching at HWS is the curricular freedom I enjoy to design courses that both reflect and shape my research,” she explains. “The conversations we have around the seminar table – about the readings, or with our visitors – are times when I often ‘try out’ new ideas, but I also learn from my students how to refine, reshape and sometimes rethink arguments in ways that have been important to my own intellectual development. This iterative relationship between teaching and learning is at the heart of the liberal arts tradition – it’s part of why I wanted to come to HWS, and an even bigger part of why I’ve enjoyed being here so much.”
A member of the Political Science Department since 2007, she earned a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in anthropology and Middle Eastern studies from Smith College, and has spent several years conducting field research in Yemen, Lebanon, and Egypt. Before coming to HWS, she taught at Mount Holyoke College, and in 2008 Philbrick Yadav was a visiting scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies.