Global Journal of Anthropology Research  (Volume 5 Issue 1)

State Politics in Yemen: Antinomies of Nation and State

Pages 1-25

Serge D. Elie

Published: 28 June 2018

This article offers a synoptic narrative informed by a political anthropology that retraces the historical genesis of modern nation-state formation in Yemen, and describes the mechanisms of its reproduction as an explanatory prelude to the ultimate political implosion of both the Yemeni state and the national polity in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. The article elucidates the trajectory of the state’s formation through the following tasks: First, it examines the catalytic factors and forces that structured the relations between the Yemeni state and the national polity, and systematically reviews the institutional and agential consequences in the form of endemic antinomies of governance, which resulted in the permanent structural disarticulation between state and nation. Second, it undertakes a history-embedded analysis of the state’s adoption of an existential politics that led to a hybrid political system of elite patronage and mass clientelism. Third, it performs a structural anatomy of the state formation process that culminated in a cabalistic corporatist state exercising a consociational domination over a socio-geographically fragmented polity. And fourth, it assesses the impacts of Yemen’s Arab Spring on the likely configuration of the nation-state nexus given the re-emergence of centrifugal forces that are threatening to sunder the nation into multiple regional polities.
Corporatism, Mesography, Nationalism, Political anthropology, Regionalism..