In a July 17 interview with E-International Relations, the world’s leading open access website for students and scholars of international politics, Associate Professor of Political Science Stacey Philbrick Yadav discusses the current state of Middle East political science research, the political circumstances of the Yemeni-Saudi war and the humanitarian fallout of that war.
Regarding the relatively small amount of media coverage the war has received, she explains that in the West, “part of the indifference or underreporting stems from understandably divided attention — the Syrian crisis is more immediate, in its geography, in the way the refugee crisis is reshaping European politics, etc. But it’s also hard to challenge the Saudi role and U.S. and European support for that role. In this regard, I’m proud to have joined with the overwhelming majority of North American and European academics who work on Yemen in publishing several open letters addressing the humanitarian crisis and the role of our own governments in supporting the war, but we have found ourselves swimming against the stream.”
As for the millions of Yemeni citizens displaced due to the war, “those who are able to leave are mainly leaving for the Horn of Africa, which is itself deeply unstable,” Philbrick Yadav says. “But given its geography and the partial blockade, most Yemenis are trapped, and food insecurity has reached near-famine levels in multiple parts of the country. Again, given the political cover and logistical assistance that the U.S. has provided for the continuation of this war, as an American, I hang my head.”
Read the full interview here.
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 International Journal of Middle East Studies and Middle East Report. Recently, she has published on the Yemeni uprising on The Washington Post political blog, “The Monkey Cage.”
A member of the HWS faculty since 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.