Yemen and the World
The influence of Yemen and its people extends far beyond its nominal borders, both historically and in the present day, as Laurent Bonnefoy reveals.
Contemporary Yemen has an image problem. It has long fascinated travellers and artists, and to many embodies both Arab and Muslim authenticity; it stands at important geostrategic and commercial crossroads. Yet, strangely, global perceptions of Yemen are of an entity that is somehow both marginal and passive, yet also dangerous and problematic.
The Saudi offensive launched in 2015 has made Yemen a victim of regional power struggles, while the global ‘war on terror’ has labelled it a threat to international security. This perception has had disastrous effects without generating real interest in the country or its people. On the contrary, Yemen’s complex political dynamics have been largely ignored by international observers—resulting in problematic, if not counterproductive, international policies.
Yemen and the World offers a corrective to these misconceptions and omissions, putting aside the nature of the world’s interest in Yemen to focus on Yemen’s role on the global stage. Laurent Bonnefoy uses six areas of modern international exchange—globalisation, diplomacy, trade, migration, culture and militant Islamism—to restore Yemen to its place at the heart of contemporary affairs. To understand Yemen, he argues, is to understand the Middle East as a whole.
Laurent Bonnefoy is a CNRS researcher at CERI Sciences Po, Paris. A specialist in Islamist movements and politics in the Arabian Peninsula, he is the author of Salafism in Yemen: Transnationalism and Religious Identity, and has published in numerous international academic journals.