Civil Society in Yemen

by Carapico, Sheila

Sheila Carapico’s book on civic participation in modern Yemen makes an authoritative contribution to the study of political culture in the Arabian peninsula. Relying on in-depth documentary and field research, the author traces the political dynamics of recent years, culminating in Yemeni unification, focuses on efforts to develop the political, economic and social structures of a modern, democratic government. Her wide-ranging analysis of the legal, institutional and financial aspects of state building and of popular dimensions of political liberalization, protest and participation challenge the stereotypical view of conservative Arab Muslim society. The political economy approach to the study which reveals a surprising degree of ‘activism in Arabia’ also helps to interpret the nature of civil society from a broad theoretical perspective. This is an important book which promises to become the definitive work on twentieth-century Yemen.