Situation Assessment 22 February, 2012

What Makes Yemen’s “Spring” Different?


Ahmad Ali Al-Ahsab

Ahmad Ali Mohammed Al Ahsab has been a Professor of Political Science at Sanaa University in Yemen since 1995, and also serves as an instructor in Project Management for Non-governmental Organizations. He completed a Master’s degree in International Cooperation and Development from the Ruhr University of Bochum in 2005. He also holds a Diploma in Anthropology and Cultural Geography from the Freigburg University, also in Germany.



The different cultures, geographies, and societies, the extent of accumulated political circumstances, and the degree to which each people has insisted on change are all dimensions that make the "Arab Spring" different in each of the stations in which its train has stopped.  A qualified observer, researcher, or politician must admit that there are differences in each scenario, both those that have ended and those that continue to rage unabated.

Knowing the background of the reasons why each situation has differed from its counterparts is crucial in order to explain its development and interactions, to gain a true understanding of events, and to be able to depict realistic projections of future events.

Yemen has several elements that distinguish it from the rest of the countries of the Arab Spring. It has been clear from the beginning that the situation in Yemen has been characterized by its persistence and the procrastination of its chief protagonists, the amount of negotiations and political movements within the country, and by a regional and international stance that remains hesitant and has not risen to the level of the positions taken for other situations.

This paper attempts to examine the background of the situation in Yemen by simultaneously pinpointing and analyzing the most significant social and political features behind the current situation in Yemen, which in turn distinguish it from the other Arab Spring cases

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