Panel: Yemen in Transition: Processes, Expressions, and Possible Outcomes


Raum: F2, 1.0G, Fürstenberghaus

Zusammenlegung mit Panel “1. Jahrestreffen des Arbeitskreises interdisziplinäre Jemen-Studien”

Tag Zeit    
Do 16:00-16:30 Brandt Who represents Sa’dah? Ansar Allah, IDPs, and the National Dialogue - Abgesagt
Do 16:00-16:30 Müller Between a State’s Society and the Society of States: Theorizing “Asymmetric Sovereignty” in Yemen
Do 16:30-17:00 Augustin Shaking and Changing the South – Protests, War and Secession?
Do 17:00-17:30 Heinze Police Reform and the “New Yemen”: Towards a ‘Civil State’?
Do 17:30-18:00 Hundhammer Vorstellung des Arbeitskreises interdisziplinäre Jemen-Studien
Do 17:30-18:00 Al-Saidi Thirsty for a Revolution: The Repercussions from Yemen’s Political Transformation on the Water Sector - Abgesagt


Anne-Linda Amira Augustin, Marie-Christine Heinze, Marianus Hundhammer

Beschreibung des Panels:

Yemen is currently going through a fundamental reform process that will define the rules of social and political interaction in the future. New structures and mechanisms are being established and values are being re-negotiated while numerous actors with diverse and opposing interests seek to gain as much ground as possible. The political games of the ongoing transition process become manifest in discursive processes in the public space, in the debates of the National Dialogue conference, as well as in armed confrontations, in cultural expressions, in symbolic acts of civil disobedience, etc. This panel discusses these processes, their various forms and results, as well as their possible future repercussions for the social and political landscape of Yemen.


Politik, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft

Abstracts der Einzelvorträge:

Augustin, Anne-Linda Amira: Shaking and Changing the South – Protests, War and Secession?

When the Arab Spring started in Yemen in 2011, an enormous power vacuum emerged in the entire country resulting in, amongst others, the establishment of an Islamic Emirate called Waqar by Ansar al-Sharia in the southern governorate of Abyan. Furthermore, the protests of the Southern Movement (al-Hirak al-Janubi) as well as disputes between the Movement on the one hand and security forces and Islah supporters on the other hand are shaking the city of Aden on a daily basis.

Security and stability standards known in southern Yemen before the Yemeni Spring have since deteriorated significantly. In this paper, it will be argued that this precarious security situation strengthened the pro-secessionists inside the Southern Movement and helped to gain more supporters from the population. Hence, a solution of the southern issue is more essential for Yemen’s future than ever before. The refusal by influential leaders of the Movement to participate in the National Dialogue demonstrates that the conference came too late for some Southerners and that the wish to regain independence is stronger than ever before in the southern Yemeni population.

As the continued unity of the Yemeni State is no longer feasible for the majority of southern Yemenis, the paper will discuss how the Arab Spring’s protests forwarded and accelerated the creation of a new South. Therefore, the paper aims at analyzing the situation in Aden and its hinterland after the Yemeni Spring’s beginning in 2011 until now, whereas the reactions by the Southern Movement on particular political events, such as the National Dialogue, will be discussed for this period.

Heinze, Marie-Christine: Security sector reform and the “new Yemen”: Towards a ‘civil state’?

One of the major demands of independent activists, intellectuals, and students during the uprising of 2011 was the building of a ‘civil state’ [dawla madaniyya], which particularly referred to a curbing of the influence non-state actors (particularly shaykhs) had on Yemeni politics. As a new vision for the Yemeni state, its organization and system of governance is discussed in the framework of the National Dialogue and as Restructuring Committees of the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Interior (MoI) develop plans for a reform of the Yemeni security forces, the question how to deal with these non-state actors is one of the most important and at the same time hardest to solve. In the context of weak statehood, these actors have contributed to the provision of security in their home areas and concurrently to a weakening of statehood as such. While the ongoing security sector reform process will certainly take several more years, this paper intends to provide an overview of the state of debate both on the political level as well as particularly in the Restructuring Committee of the MoI on how to deal with non-state actors in the “new Yemen”.

Müller, Miriam M.: Between a State’s Society and the Society of States: Theorizing “Asymmetric Sovereignty” in Yemen

Over the last two years, Yemenīs have endured international attention ranging between hailing optimism and devastating assessments with regard to Yemen’s ability to stabilize itself as a state after its people had excised its autocratic backbone. Against all odds, the majority of analysts of modern Yemen today agree that Yemen is far from being a “failed state” and warn of the implications of the use of the term. In comparison to Somalia or Afghanistan Yemen was able to fall back onto its historically grown and still functional tribal structures: it has been the tribes which prevented Yemen from slipping into chaos.
Despite Yemen, first divided and then unified, had been accepted as a sovereign state by the international community for half a century, the sovereign state on the outside has never been matched by sovereign state power on the inside, Yemen’s external and internal sovereignty so far have not become congruent. The following reflection will argue that this mismatch of “Asymmetric Sovereignty” as it has existed in Yemen ever since the founding of the two Yemenī states is both, cause and effect, of Yemen’s rough path towards a unified and effective nation state today. The theoretical conceptualization of “Asymmetric Sovereignty” will be defined as a lack of congruence between the internal and external sovereignty of a nation state in the international state system to identify some of the major causes for this mismatch. The presentation will apply the theoretical approach to one selected internal factor of Yemenī society to allow the assessment of current tendencies within Yemenī society today: the relationship between the state and the Yemenī nation.