Stacey Philbrick Yadav

Associate Professor of Political Science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges


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Fragmentation and Localization in Yemen's War: Challenges and Opportunities for Peace


Stacey Philbrick Yadav
Middle East Brief 123, November 2018


The ongoing war in Yemen is usually understood in both policy circles and public discourse as either a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia or a civil war between Houthi rebels and the Government of Yemen led by President Hadi. In this Brief, Stacey Philbrick Yadav challenges these binary understandings of the war by disaggregating Yemen’s war into four arenas of conflict, each with distinct antagonists, methods, and aims. The Brief demonstrates that none of the four arenas, alone or in combination, can be understood by the current conventional framings. These zones of conflict have fragmented and localized the experience of war for Yemenis, complicating the process of humanitarian relief and eroding a shared experience of Yemeni national belonging. Philbrick Yadav concludes that the diplomatic process to bring peace to and rebuild Yemen is unlikely to be successful unless it recognizes the implications of this fragmentation and localization of the war.

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