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Anderson B., Imagined Communities. Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, London, Verso, 2000.
Barth Fr., Ethnic Groups and Boundaries. The social organization of culture difference, Illinois, Waveland Press, 1998.
Bayart J.‑Fr., L’illusion identitaire, Paris, Fayard, 1996.
Bayart J.‑Fr., « L’historicité de l’État importé », Les cahiers du CERI, 1996.
Blumi I., “Unique Authoritarianism. Shifting Fortunes and the Malleability of the Salih Regime in Yemen. 1990–Present”, EUI Working Paper, RSCAS, 2009.
Blumi I., Chaos in Yemen. Societal Collapse and the New Authoritarianism, London, Routledge, 2010.
Bonnefoy L., « La guerre de Sa‘da. Des singularités yéménites à l’agenda international », Critique internationale, n° 48, 2010, p. 137‑159.
Bonnefoy L. and Poirier M., “The Yemeni Congregation for Reform (al‑Islāh). The Difficult Process of Building a Project for Change”, in M. Catusse, K. Karam (eds.), Returning to Political Parties? Political Party Development in the Arab Word, Beyrouth, Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, 2010, p. 61‑99.
Brehony N., Yemen Divided. The Story of a Failed State in South Arabia, London, I.B. Tauris, 2011.
Browers M., “Origins and Architects of Yemen’s Joint Meeting Parties”, International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 39, 2007, p. 565‑586.
Burgat F., L’islamisme au Maghreb. La voix du Sud, Paris, Karthala, 1998.
Burrowes R. D., The Yemen Arab Republic. The Politics of Development, 1962–1986, Boulder, Westview Press, 1987.
Burrowes R. D., “Prelude to Unification. The Yemen Arab Republic, 1962–1990”, International Journal of Middle East Studies, 23/4, 1991, p. 483‑506.
Carapico Sh., Civil Society in Yemen. The Political Economy of Activism in Modern Arabia, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Daair O., He who Rides the Lion. Authoritarian Rule in a Plural Society: the Republic of Yemen, MSc dissertation, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, 2001.
Day St., Regionalism and Rebellion in Yemen. A Troubled National Union, Cambridge/New York, Cambridge University Press, 2012.
Detalle R., « Yémen, les élections législatives du 27 avril 1993 », Maghreb Machrek, n° 144, 1993, p. 3‑36.
Detalle R., « Les partis politiques au Yémen. Paysage après la bataille », Revue d’Études des Mondes musulmans et de la Méditerranée, n° 81, 1996, p. 331‑348.
Dorlian S., « Les reformulations identitaires du zaydisme dans leur contexte socio‑politique contemporain », Chroniques Yéménites, n° 15, 2008, p. 161‑176
Dorlian S., “The Sa‘da War in Yemen. Between Politics and Sectarianism”, The Muslim World, 101(2), 2011, p. 182‑ 201.
Du Bouchet L., “The State, Political Islam and Violence. The Reconfiguration of Yemeni Politics since 9/11”, in A. Blom, L. Bucaille, and L. Martinez (eds.), The Enigma of Islamist Violence, London, Hurst, 2007, p. 137‑64.
Dresch P. and Haykel B., “Stereotypes and Political Styles. Islamists and Tribesfolk in Yemen”, International Journal of Middle East Studies, vol. 27, n° 4, 1995, p. 405‑431.
Dresch P., “A Daily Plebiscite. Nation and State in Yemen”, Revue du monde musulman et de la Méditerranée, n° 67, 1993, p. 67‑77.
Dresch P., A Modern History of Yemen, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2000.
Halliday Fr., Revolution and Foreign Policy. The Case of South Yemen 1967–87, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1990.
Hastings M., « Partis politiques et Administration du sens », in D. Andolfatto, F. Greffet, L. Olivier (dir.), Les partis politiques. Quelles perspectives ?, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2001, p. 21‑36.
Lefresne B., « Ressources de légitimation dans le Yémen unifié », Les Cahiers de l’Orient, n° 25‑26, 1992, p. 129‑139.
Longley Alley A., “The Rules of the Game. Unpacking Patronage Politics in Yemen”, Middle East Journal, 64/3, 2010, p. 385‑409.
Martin D.‑C. (dir.), Cartes d’identité. Comment dit‑on « nous » en politique ?, Paris, Presses de Sciences Po, 1994.
Phillips S., “Evaluating Political Reform in Yemen”, Carnegie papers, Carnegie endowment for international peace, n° 80, 2007.
Phillips S., Yemen’s Democracy Experience in a Regional Perspective. Patronage and Pluralized Authoritarianism, London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.
Phillips S., Developmental Dysfunction and Division in a Crisis State, The Developmental Leadership Program, Research Paper, 2011.
Poirier M., “Performing Political Domination in Yemen. Narratives and Practices of Power in the General People’s Congress”, The Muslim World, 101(2), 2011, p. 202‑227.
Retière J.‑N., « Autour de l’autochtonie. Réflexions sur la notion de capital social populaire », Politix, Vol. 16, n° 64, 2003, p. 121‑143
Ruiz de Elvira L., « Les acteurs étrangers et la promotion de la démocratie », in S. Ben Nefissa, M. Grabundzija et J. Lambert (dir.), Société civile, associations et pouvoir local au Yémen, Sanaa, CEFAS / FES, 2008, p. 163‑191.
Schwedler J., Faith in Moderation. Islamist Parties in Jordan and Yemen, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2007.
Scott J. C., Domination and the Arts of Resistance, New Haven/London, Yale University Press, 1990.
Waterbury J., The Egypt of Nasser and Sadat. The Political Economy of two Regimes, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1983.
Wedeen L., Ambiguities of Domination. Politics, Rhetoric and Symbols in Contemporary Syria, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 1999.
Wedeen L., “Conceptualizing Culture. Possibilities for Political Sciences”, The American Political Sciences Review, Vol. 96, n° 4, 2002, p. 713‑728.
Wedeen L., Peripheral Visions. Publics, Power and Performance in Yemen, Chicago/London, University of Chicago Press, 2008.
President Ṣāliḥ as well as representatives of the General People’s Congress and the Joint Meeting Parties of opposition signed the political agreement brokered by the GCC monarchies in Riyadh on November 23, 2011. According to this settlement, power was transferred to former vice president ‘Abd al‑Rubbuh Manṣūr Hādī and a peaceful political transition launched over two years.
The GPC was affected by an important movement of defections, especially in March 2011, after general ‘Alī Muḥsin rallied the revolution. 20% of GPC’s members of Parliament resigned from the party. In the absence of precise data, it can be assumed that a similar proportion of actors defected from GPC’s central and local sections.
The JMP comprises since the early 2000s the Yemeni Socialist Party, the Islamist Yemeni Congregation for Reform (al‑tajammu‛ al‑yamanī li‑l‑iṣlāḥ, or al‑Iṣlāḥ party), the Nasserite Popular Unionist Organization, the National Arab Socialist Baath Party, al‑Ḥaqq Party and the Union of Popular Forces (two small parties with Zaydī markers). Browers, 2007.
Burrowes, 1987, p. 76‑77.
Historically, the idea of a large political organisation emerged well before Ṣāliḥ’s arrival to power in 1978. For more details, refer to Burrowes, 1991.
For further insight into the GPC, also refer to Detalle, 1996, p. 331‑34; Longley Alley, 2010; Phillips, 2008, in particular p. 51‑53; Poirier, 2011.
On the dynamic of power monopolisation, refer to Blumi, 2009 and 2010; Phillips, 2008; Brehony, 2011.
For a detailed account of the Ḥūthī rebellion, refer to Dorlian, 2011 and Bonnefoy, 2010 ; On the Southern movement, see Day, 2012.
For a stimulating discussion of the performative dimension of politics, refer Wedeen, 1999, and Wedeen, 2008.
On the social construction of groups and identities refer to Anderson, 2000, and Barth, 1998. For a contemporary approach of these issues in Yemen, refer to Wedeen, 2008.
Martin, 1994. For the analysis of this identification process as applied to political Islam, refer to Burgat, 1998.
Wedeen, 2008, p. 218.
Wedeen, 2008, p. 2.
The notion of transnational highlights contexts where the State is not the unique actor of exchanges. It generally entails a focus on non‑state actors and societies without ignoring the State’s reactions to such dynamics.
I do not engage with the yet stimulating literature on transnational politics in contention studies (as developed by Sidney Tarrow, Charles Tilly and Ernesto Castañeda for instance) for multiple reasons: in this article, I do not aim at mapping the transnational practices of a political organisation nor do I study a social movement, and the targeted group generally tends to legitimise and reproduce the regime rather than to resist and contend with it.
By “culture” I do not mean a coherent system of symbols that would define and draw the permanent features of a specific group. See the criticisms formulated by Lisa Wedeen to the Geertzian approach to political cultures. Wedeen, 2002.
Wedeen, 2008, p. 217.
Such offices or branches are closely connected to Yemeni embassies and Yemeni student unions abroad. These state‑sponsored structures, present in Europe, America, Asia and in the Middle East, principally aimed at providing services for students overseas, nonetheless contribute to the expansion of the regime’s influence over expatriates.
This person was formally interviewed three times in Sana’a between 2007 and 2010 and met at several party events and socialisation instances during fieldwork until 2011.
Interview with the author, December 15, 2008, Sana’a.
James C. Scott defines public transcripts in opposition to hidden transcripts as a “the self‑portrait of dominant elites as they would have themselves seen. […] A highly partisan and partial narrative […] designed to be impressive, to affirm and naturalize the power of dominant elites, and to conceal or euphemize the dirty linen of their rule” (Scott, 1990, p. 18). As suggested by the author, the dominant discourse is a plastic idiom that may carry an important variety of meanings (Scott, 1990, p. 102).
Interviews with party members, 2008‑2010.
See in particular Yemeni Republic ‑ General People’s Congress, 2005, The GPC at the stage of its establishment [Al‑Mu’tamar al‑sha‘bī al‑‘āmm fī marḥalat al‑ta’sīs], Iṣdārāt al‑amāna al‑‘āmma, Mu’assasat al‑Mīthāq.
Interviews with party members, 2009.
For more details on the PDRY, refer to Halliday, 1990.
On North ‑ South relations and the inter Yemeni wars of 1972 and 1979, refer to Dresch, 2000, p.124 and p. 149‑150.
Dissociating from its developmentalist connotation, I refer here to modernisation only as the rationalisation and reform of State.
For instance, the Turkish occupations of Yemen are depicted as periods of “recession, despotism and corruption”. Yemen Arab Republic ‑ GPC, Al‑Mafhūm al‑‘aqā’idī wa‑l‑minhajī li‑l‑mīthāq al‑waṭanī, Press of the administration of general affairs and for the moral guidance of the armed forces, n. d.
Idem. Following quotes come from the same document.
The creation of a political organisation in the North is mentioned in the Tripoli agreement for the unification of Yemen in 1972: “There will come into existence a unified political organisation which will include all productive groups of citizens … to work against backwardness” (article 9). The GPC not only takes up the name of the Libyan GPCs, established by Muammar Gaddafi in 1977, but the local structure of the organisation and its developmentalist orientations (to fight backwardness and guide citizens on the road to political awareness and empowerment) echo that of the Libyan leader, comforting the hypothesis of a Libyan influence.
See Waterbury, 1983.
Dresch, 1993, p. 73.
After Yemen gave its support to Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, over 800,000 Yemeni workers were expelled from the Gulf and neighbouring countries, provoking a major humanitarian and socio‑economic crisis. The Yemeni government estimated losses due to the Gulf crisis at over 10 billion dollars, including 3 billion in lost remittances.
The Millenium Challenge Corporation is a US foreign aid agency providing cooperation programs with poor countries and financed by Congress.
Nasser Arrabyee, “Yemen in need”, Al‑Ahram Weekly, n° 1116, September 27, 2012: http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2012/1116/re11.htm.
Phillips, 2011, p. 13‑17 ; Ruiz de Elvira, 2008.
Bayart, 1996, p. 80‑81.
The self‑help movement of the local development cooperatives spread in the 1960s and 70s in North Yemen (especially Taiz region) conducting activities in the fields of education, health care, water supply and road‑building. Many analysts describe it as a unique and early occurrence of a wide scale civil organization. Carapico, 1998, p. 211.
Phillips, 2008, p. 49.
Du Bouchet, 2007.
See for instance GPC’s participation to rallies against the Israeli attack on Gaza in January 2010.
Before 1999, the minimum age for girls was 15.
About GPC’s split on the subject and the political instrumentalisation of the issue by the ruling party (as a stigmatisation tool against al‑Iṣlāḥ party), see Nabīl Subay‘, “Aklu al‑bayḍ”, al‑Nida’, April 5, 2010.
Lisa Wedeen similarly discusses how structural adjustment programs, widening disparities of wealth and increasing poverty, encourage the rise of religious institutions that might support Islamist political mobilisation. Wedeen, 2008, p. 193‑211.
Burrowes, 1991 and Detalle, 1996.
Tradition is referred to here as a social construction and invention, in line with Erik Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger’s work The invention of tradition.
International Crisis Group, 2009, Yemen: Defusing the Saada Time Bomb, Middle East Report, n° 86; Dorlian, 2008; Wedeen, 2008, p. 148‑185.
Brehony, 2011; Day, 2012.
See, for instance, Bonnefoy and Poirier, 2010; Dresch and Haykel, 1995; Schwedler, 2007.
Read for example ‘Alī al‑Shāṭir, “Irḥābiyun taḥt al‑maẓalla al‑siyāsiya”, Almotamar.net, October 5, 2010, http://www.almotamar.net/news/print.php?id=84801.
See for instance the caricature circulating on the pro‑GPC website, and particularly January 6, 2011, http://www.almotamar.net/news/87549.htm.
Khālid Ḥassān, “Ṣunā‘ al‑azamāt”, Almotamar.net, February 8, 2010: http://www.almotamar.net/news/print.php?id=77951.
Franck Mermier, « De la répression antiterroriste à la répression antidémocratique », Le Monde, 7 janvier 2010.
Wedeen, 2008, p. 66.
Starting from January 2011, political protest in Yemen has intensified and extended to the whole country. The multiple opposition actors on the ground (students, civil society activists, secessionists, ḥūthī‑s, political parties, salafis, etc.) have progressively converged, rallying around the joint call for the immediate departure of President Ṣāliḥ. The nonetheless fragmented revolutionary movement has expanded its support since the beginning of the uninterrupted sit‑ins of protesters in most cities in late February. Despite the high risk of escalating violence and the repressive response of the regime, demonstrators have continued to occupy public spaces and defend the peaceful dimension of their revolution.
Listen, for instance, to Ṣāliḥ’s speech on April 28, 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evpanvA2fek.
Refer, for example, to the discourses and slogans during the General national congress organised in Sana’a on March 10, 2011 archived on Almotamar.net.
The JMP was represented with blood on its hands in an article of the pro regime Nabanews agency, December 29, 2010: http://www.nabanews.net/2009/32688.html.
It is the case for example of human rights’ activist Tawakkul Karmān that was slandered in al‑Jumhūr newspaper as “the activist Tawakkul Dollar”, January 10, 2011: http://www.almethaq.net/news/news‑19429.htm).
Interview with Nu‘mān Duwayd, al‑Diyyār, n° 178, March 3, 2011, p. 4. Contrary to what Duwayd suggests there is no unified Yemeni dialect but a plurality of Yemeni dialects. If people understand each other, their regional origin is easily spotted by their language. These local imprints are however progressively fading with a progressive standardisation of dialects in urban centres such as Sana’a.
Speech of President Ṣāliḥ, April 28, 2011, op. cit.
President Ṣāliḥ declared during a visit to medicine students in Sana’a University that “what is happening in the Arab region comes from an operation room in Tel Aviv run by the United States”, March 1st, 2011: http://www.al-tagheer.com/news27326.html.
Speech of President Ṣāliḥ, May 21, 2011: http://www.almotamar.net/news/91121.htm.
The official media has dealt with the protest movement as a political crisis only. Read for example, “Qiyādāt taḥāluf munaẓamāt al‑mujtama‘ al‑madanī tu’akid an mā yajrī fī al‑Yaman azma siyāsiya”, Saba agency, May 17, 2011: http://www.14october.com/News.aspx?newsno=3010171.
Speech of President Ṣāliḥ, May 21, 201, op. cit.
See for instance the regime’s stigmatisation of the Southern movement as a foreign‑sponsored secessionist project connected to al‑Qaida, and the brutal repression it supported (Human Rights Watch Report, In the name of unity. The Yemeni government’s brutal response to Southern movement protests, 2009, p. 40‑50).
Bayart, 2001, p.182‑3.
See for example pictures of the July 21 rally, “Jum‘a al‑i‛tiṣām bi‑hibl Allāh”, AlMotamar.net, July 22, 2011 : http://www.14october.com/News.aspx?newsno=3010171.
On Yemeni‑Saudi relations, see Laurent Bonnefoy, 2006, “Brothers yet enemies”, Le Monde Diplomatique, octobre.
See for instance, the case of the RCD during Ben Ali’s rule in Tunisia: Myriam Marzouki, « Parler la dictature de Ben Ali », Le Monde, 21 janvier 2011.
Bayart, 1996, p. 10.Haut de page