INAF-635 ISD Capstone: The Once and Future Yemen: A Case Study on Rebuilding a Shattered State
Spring for 2017-2018
Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world, has always been fragile state. Buffeted by the Arab Spring, it did, however, look to be one of the few success stories with a negotiated transfer of power, a laudable National Dialogue Process, and strong support from the international community. But even this near-success had fundamental flaws. The Houthi, long in conflict with the pre-Arab Spring central government, swept into the capital in the autumn of 2014 with an aggressive reformist agenda and demands for governmental restructuring. The National Partnership Plan agreed to with the transitional Hadi government was in retrospect Yemen’s last chance at a functioning government. By January 2015 the state and the government began to unravel. On March 25th, with Hadi in forced exile, Saudi Arabia launched a military campaign to force the Houthi out and bring Hadi back. Despite attempts at UN-brokered ceasefires and peace negotiations as of November 2016, that campaign continues, with untold destruction of the political, economic, social and physical infrastructure and a growing humanitarian catastrophe. The campaign has also unleashed AQAP and spawned the emergence of IS-affiliated groups.
This course – one of three that fulfills the capstone requirement for the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy’s Certificate in Diplomatic Studies (CDS) – will examine why the Yemeni success story in the end failed, and how this country – as a case study for other shattered states – can rebuild. What are the roles and responsibilities of the regional belligerents in the conflict, the international community, and the Yemenis themselves in post-war political and physical reconstruction? What lessons can be learned – good or ill – from elsewhere? The capstone course will conclude with a comprehensive strategy report by the capstone participants. It is taught by the Director of the SFS Institute for the Study of Diplomacy who previously served as U.S. Ambassador to Yemen.
Open to non-CDS candidates on a space-available basis.
Other academic years
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