Department of Development Studies

Ms Helen Lackner

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Department of Development Studies Research Associate
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Having studied social anthropology in SOAS in the 1960s,  i had a long career in direct involvement in social aspects of rural development in more than 30 countries,  in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe.  Recent years have seen me recycle as an analyst author and speaker on the crisis in Yemen, where i spent more than 15 years during the past half century.


  • Yemen in crisis,  the road to war , Arabic updated translation by al maraya press in Cairo 2020
  • Tribes in the neo-liberal era:  transformation of Yemen’s social structure  chapter 11 in Tribes in Modern Yemen: An Anthology  edited by Marieke Brandt,  Austrian Academy of Sciences, (2020)
  • Revitalization of community-based Water practices in Yemen Georgetown University,  CIRS, 2018 in Water crises in the Middle East (forthcoming Hurst 2020)
  • After Britain left,  chapter in Better not to Linger edited by Clive Jones and Noel Brehony,  forthcoming
  • The  role of the United Nations in the Yemen crisis Chapter 2 of Global, Regional and Local dynamics in the Yemen crisis edited by Noel Brehony and Stephen Day,  Palgrave McMillan (2020)
  • The future of Yemeni agriculture and water,  chapter 7  of Post War Yemen edited by Amat al Alim al Soswa and Noel Brehony  IB Tauris, and in Arabic King Faisal Research Centre in Riyadh (forthcoming)
  • Yemen in Crisis, the road to war Verso, 2019 US Edition of the 2017 Saqi book
  • Extreme Environmental Challenges in the context of Lasting Political Crisis:  the case of Yemen  chapter 8 of Environmental Challenges in the MENA region:  thelong road from Conflit to Cooperation  edted by Hamid Pourian and Hassan Hakimian, Gingko (2019)
  • Yemen in Crisis: Autocracy, Neo-liberalism and the Disintegration of a State (Saqi 2017)
  • Yemen and the Gulf States:  the Making of a Crisis (Gerlach 2917), co-edited with Daniel Varisco, and contributed chapter on overall view
  • The People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen: unique socialist experiment in the Arab world at a time of revolutionary fervour Interventions 2017, vol 19, issue 5, pp 677-691
  • Understanding the Yemeni Crisis:  the transformation of tribal roles in recent decades, Luce Fellowship Paper no 17,  Institute for Middle East and Islamic Studies, Durham University (2016)
  • Issues of Security and climate in Yemen, chapter 6 in Climate hazard crises in Asian Societies and environments edited by Troy Sternberg, [Routledge, 2017,]
  • Hadramaut:  social structure, agriculture and migration chapter 3 in Migration from Yemen:  the politics of identify of the Hadrami Diaspora edited by Noel Brehony, [IB Tauris  2017]  published in Arabic 2018 by the King Faisal Centre for Research
  • The transition from autocracy in Yemen:  could it have succeeded? (2016)  International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. also available in ArabiC
  • Wasta, is it such a bad thing? chapter 3 in the Political Economy of Wasta, edited by Mohamed Ramady, Springer [2015]
  • The Change Squares of Yemen:  civil resistance in an unlikely context  (2016) chapter 6, in Civil Resistance in the Arab Spring, edited by T Garton Ash, A Roberts and M Willis (Oxford University Press,)
  • Why Yemen matters, A society in transition (Saqi 2014)  editor and author of chapter on Water management
  • Participatory Development and the Emergence of a Rural Civil Society (2008) in  Ben Nefissa et al eds.  Société civile, associations et pouvoir local au Yemen,  CEFAS, Sana’a.
  • Yemen into the Twenty First Century: Continuity and Change, (2007) co-editor with Kamil Mahdi and Anna Wuerth, as well as author of chapter 10, ‘Land Tenure, Social Structure and the State in the Southern Governorates in the mid-1990s’ ,  Ithaca Press,
  • Participatory Irrigation Management in Spate Irrigation in Yemen,  (1998)  paper for the EDI of the World Bank, co-author with Linden Vincent
  • Women and Development in the Republic of Yemen,  (1995)  in N. Khoury ed Women and Development in the Arab World,  ILO, UN University, Zed Press, UK
  • Contexte socio-économique et culturel de la pêche dans les retenues d’eau,  (1994) with Etienne Baijot, in Développement des Pêches artisanales au Burkina Faso, EU, Brussels,
  • Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States  (ch 11)  Yemen (ch 15) in Times Guide to the Middle East,  Times Books, 1992.
  • PDR Yemen:  Outpost of Socialist Development in Arabia,  (1985)  Ithaca Press, London,
  • A House Built on Sand, a political economy of Saudi Arabia, (1978) Ithaca Press, London,

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