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Steven Heydemann


Yemen Update: May 27, 2011

[Yemeni riot police attacking protesters in San'a. Image from unknown archive.]

Yemen’s uprising, which began in January with small, peaceful demonstrations, has now brought the country to the brink of civil war. On May 23, clashes broke out in the capital city, Sanaa, between army units loyal to President Ali Abdallah Saleh and opposition militias loyal to opposition leader and Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar, head of the Hashid tribal federation. By May 26, the death toll from the fighting approached 100, and further escalation seemed inevitable. Opposition ...

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The Unfolding Situation in Yemen

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How serious is the situation in Yemen? This weekend, negotiations over the departure of President Ali Abdallah Saleh broke down. After several weeks of mixed signals concerning his willingness to depart the presidency on acceptable terms – including amnesty for himself and his extended family – President Saleh reversed himself and announced that he has no intention of leaving office before the end ofhis term in 2013. Politics in Yemen is always fluid, and President Saleh ...

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Steven Heydemann


Steven Heydemann serves as vice president of the Grants and Fellowships program and as special adviser to the Muslim World Initiative at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). His research and teaching have focused on the comparative politics and the political economy of the Middle East. His interests include authoritarian governance, economic development, social policy, political and economic reform and civil society. Heydemann has also researched the relationship between institutions and economic development and philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. From 2003 to 2007, Heydemann directed the Center for Democracy and Civil Society at Georgetown University. From 2001 to 2003, he was director of the Social Science Research Council’s Program on Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Sector, with additional responsibility for development of new programs. Prior to that, he was a program director at the SSRC, where he ran the Council’s Program on International Peace and Security and its Program on the Near and Middle East (1990-1997). From 1997 to 2001, he was an associate professor in the department of political science at Columbia University. Heydemann has held visiting faculty positions at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute in Florence (2001) and as a senior fellow at the Yale University Center for International Studies (1997). He has served on the board of directors of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) of North America and is currently a member of MESA’s Committee on Public Affairs.