On the fifth anniversary of the Yemeni uprising, Associate Professor of Political Science Stacey Philbrick Yadav reflects on that country’s protracted civil war on the Washington Post‘s political blog, “The Monkey Cage,” and in an interview with the Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS).
“Yemen’s horrific conditions today directly follow from the systematic conceptual and political failures of those who designed and administered the plan for a managed transition from the regime of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh,” she writes in her piece on “The Monkey Cage,” titled “Why the managed transition after Yemen’s uprising led to war.”
In the POMEPS interview with Marc Lynch, POMEPS director and professor of political science and international affairs at the George Washington University, Philbrick Yadav discusses some of the overwhelming effects of the uprising, “most evident in terms of the humanitarian situation facing Yemini civilians.”
“In the quest for a political settlement, in discussions of a ceasefire, the most important thing people need to bear in mind is the consequence this war has had on the ground,” she explains.
Between the naval and air blockade by the Saudi-led coalition and disruption by local militias, the conditions of this “internationalized” conflict — involving the transitional Yemeni government, militants, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt and Saudi Arabia — are increasingly dire for the approximately 2.5 million displaced Yemeni civilians.
She goes on to explain in the “Monkey Cage” article that “any internationally brokered post-conflict reconciliation and reconstruction process will have to contend with the same issues of inclusivity and accountability that were neglected in the 2011 transitional agreement. This time, however, the stakes will be higher, as planners will have to face the dual challenge of demobilizing militias and serving a polarized and devastated society.”
On domestic affairs, Philbrick Yadav was quoted in the Feb. 11 Salon.com article, “America needs a ‘Bernie Doctrine’: How Sanders’ foreign policy weakness could become a game-changing strength.” There, she notes that as a candidate, Sanders has tried “to emphasize multilateralism, working with allies and through institutions. ‘Strength through diplomacy’ ironically distinguishes him from former Secretary Clinton, who served as a diplomat but did little to depart from our militarized approach to conflicts in the region.”
Philbrick Yadav, who has lived in Yemen and is a member of the executive committee of the American Institute of Yemeni Studies, has been writing about Yemen’s opposition politics for more than a decade. Since Yemen’s uprising in 2011, she’s published a book exploring the dynamics of Islamist activism and alliance building, and articles in several academic journals, including the latest issues of International Journal of Middle East Studies and Middle East Report. A member of the HWS faculty in 2007, Philbrick Yadav 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 joining the Colleges, she taught at Mount Holyoke College, and in 2008 was a visiting scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies.