Sarah Phillips lectures at the Centre for International Security Studies, Sydney University. She previously worked at the National Democratic Institute in Yemen and specializes in governance, conflict, and reform in the Middle East. Her recent book, Yemen’s Democracy Experiment in Regional Perspective was published by Palgrave Macmillan. The research for this essay was conducted between 2006-8, when the author was living and working in Yemen. It draws on formal interviews and informal conversations with JMP members (in all governorate branch offices), GPC members, political activists, and average Yemenis.

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