SOAS University of London

London Middle East Institute

Yemen in Crisis, Autocracy, Neo-Liberalism and the Disintegration of a State

Yemen in Crisis
Helen Lackner, LMEI

Date: 14 November 2017Time: 5:45 PM

Finishes: 14 November 2017Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Khalili Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Lecture

Since 2015, Yemen has been plunged into its most severe crisis ever. Fuelled by Arab and Western intervention, the civil war quickly escalated, killing thousands while millions are experiencing increasingly acute food shortages. The people of Yemen suffering from a collapsed economy face a desperate choice between the Huthi rebels allied with ex-President Saleh on one side and the internationally recognised government propped up by the Saudi-led coalition on the other, the latter supported by Western arms and logistical support.

The struggle for power in the Arab world's poorest but strategically vital nation has serious implications for the region and beyond. While Egypt and Saudi Arabia fear that a Huthi takeover would threaten free passage of oil through the Bab al-Mandab strait, western governments fear a rise of attacks from al-Qa'ida and IS as the country becomes more unstable.

In her latest book Yemen in Crisis: Autocracy, Neo-Liberalism and the Disintegration of a State (Saqi, 2017) Helen Lackner uncovers the social and political conflicts that threaten the very survival of the state and its people. She reveals the corruption of the country's US-backed autocratic regime and how it failed to address national impoverishment and to plan an equitable economy for Yemen's growing population. She will discuss some of these points in her lecture.

Helen Lackner is a Research Associate at the LMEI. She has been involved in Yemen since the early 1970s where she lived in all three Yemeni states for over 15 years. She now focuses on analysis and writing, trying to promote commitment to equitable development and peace in Yemen. Her most recent publications include Yemen’s Peaceful Transition from Autocracy: could it have succeeded? (International IDEA 2016), Understanding the Yemeni Crisis: the transformation of tribal roles in recent decades (Durham, Luce Fellowship Paper 17, 2016). The LMEI and the British Yemeni Society published her Why Yemen Matters in 2014 (Saqi).

Chair: Gilbert Achcar, SOAS

Admission Free - All Welcome

Organiser: London Middle East Institute

Contact email:

Contact Tel: 020 7898 4330