From the information that is readily and publicly available it seems that a great deal of research on tribal structures in Yemen was undertaken in the 1980s, and primarily from an ethnographic perspective. The research for this query was able to find far less recent work, especially being undertaken at an organisational level. However, there do seem to be a number of individual academics who have conducted fieldwork in Yemen in recent years, many on the issue of tribes, governance and conflict (please see the list of experts contacted in Section 5 below). It may be that contacting each of these researchers individually would yield a better picture of the research currently being undertaken.
In light of the paucity of information available, this query aims to highlight three research sources: relevant literature; research programmes and individual academic experts. The literature section prioritises more recent materials; however, where certain older, but important texts were recommended by experts, they too have been included. The list of experts highlighted is by no means comprehensive – it is based on the experts whose research interests and publications are publicly accessible, as well as those who responded to the researcher’s request for information.
The research that has been identified covers a range of areas: the relationship between the tribes and the state during various historical periods; tribal governance systems; the tension between state and tribal or customary justice systems; political participation by clans and tribes; conflict mediation; and the environment and natural resources.