This project is entitled “Academic Approaches to Peace-Building and State-Building in Yemen” and is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in the framework of its Transformation Partnership. The partners in the project are the Institute of Oriental and Asian Studies at the University of Bonn and the Gender-Development Research & Studies Center at Sanaa University. The Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient (CARPO) is involved in the publication of papers resulting from this project.
Against the backdrop of the ongoing war in the country, this project aims at contributing to peace-building and state-building in the country. This objective is to be achieved by strengthening ties between researchers, academic staff, students and – subordinately – to experts in the policy and development community in order to develop ideas and find new ways of academic support to respective endeavors. A particular focus will be on the promotion and support of young academics and women.
Regarding outputs, the project focuses on common workshops and conferences, a summer university, a project website and a series of policy papers.
This project’s objective is thus to investigate and support peace-building and state-building initiatives in post-conflict Yemen from an academic perspective and thus a) to support and strengthen the work of practitioners and policy-makers in the country through the provision of expertise; and b) to build the respective expertise in Yemeni and German academia to support and critically accompany a). In the first year of this project, activities will focus on academic approaches to peace-building, while the focus of the second year will be on state-building, governance and particularly federalism should its introduction have been decided by then.
In order to achieve these objectives, a joint project on the topic of “Academic Approaches to Peace-Building and Federalism. Supporting Peace and State-Building in Post-Conflict Yemen” will bring together researchers and students from the two universities involved with practitioners and policy-makers. A particular focus will be placed on the promotion and support of young academics and women.
In the first year of the project, the focus of activities, discussions and training will thus center on peace-building. Here, international approaches to peace-building and international debates in academia in regard to this matter will be discussed against the backdrop of the Yemeni context. In a first workshop among advanced researchers on both sides, to take place in spring of 2016, respective research projects will be presented. In all three activities, a special focus will be placed on the role women in Yemen can play in peace-building to promote lasting security and the underlying challenges to such involvement in the Yemeni context.
The summer school of the first year will bring together advanced academics and teachers from both institutions with MA and PhD students of both countries with an interest in peace-building in Yemen. The aim is to draw qualified students into the research and to jointly work on the common research questions. The summer school will give PhD students the opportunity to present their projects in front of a German/Yemeni audience and receive respective feedback and offer MA students the opportunity to develop research questions for their thesis.
As a last activity for the first year, this project will see the holding of a two-day conference in Amman. This conference will bring together advanced researchers and PhD students from both institutions/countries working on peace-building in Yemen. The conference will be open to a limited audience from the same field, particularly to experts, policy-makers and practitioners working on peace-building in Yemen and based in Amman.
In the second year, the three-tiered approach of workshop / summer school / conference plus policy papers will be repeated, this time in relation to state-building, governance, and federalism. Depending on whether the German Embassy has re-opened by then, we hope to implement the summer school (or all three activities) in Germany. Should this be the case, the summer school would be expanded to last two weeks, thus enabling students to move beyond the presentation and discussion of papers by visiting German federal institutions and to thus give them a hands-on experience of the governance of federalism. Should federalism not be introduced in Yemen after all, visits will center on governing institutions in the German capital. In both cases, discussions during the workshop will center on challenges relating to state-building, governance (and federalism) in Germany and Yemen, and how academia can contribute to fostering these in Yemen.