Peripheral Visions: Publics, Power, and Performance in Yemen, by Lisa Wedeen. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, xv + pages. Notes to p. Lisa Wedeen’s ambitious and illuminating Peripheral Visions: Publics, Power and Performance in Yemen provides a wealth of expert observations and analysis. Peripheral Visions has 46 ratings and 3 reviews. Hamza said: I honestly Peripheral Visions: Publics, Power, and Performance in Yemen Lisa Wedeen.

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Trivia About Peripheral Vision Books by Lisa Wedeen. The government of Yemen, unified sinceremains largely incapable of controlling violence or providing goods and services to its population, but the regime continues to endure despite its fragility and peripheral location in the global political and economic order.

Peripheral Visions: Publics, Power, and Performance in Yemen, Wedeen

Yemen, she suggests, is a case of the latter. Politics and Current Events. In addition to writing and teaching, Wedeen sits on the Editorial Collective of Public Culture, an interdisciplinary journal of transnational cultural studies. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. To see what your friends thought of this book, please wedwen up.

Wedeen refuses to bend facts to fit theory, but rather hones in on contradictions between the vvisions in an effort to increase understanding of the dynamics at play. The result is an important contribution to the study of the recent political evolution of Yemen as a nation state in search of itself.

The University of Chicago Press, It is conceivable, Wedeen suggests, that a minimally democratic state might utterly fail at substantive representation; and even that a state in which some degree of substantive representation exists might not have truly competitive elections.


I am interested in exposing the democratic deficits that the electoral definition conceals. You are commenting using your WordPress. Revealing what holds Yemen together in such tenuous circumstances, Peripheral Visions shows how citizens form national attachments even in the absence of strong state institutions. You are commenting using your Twitter account. Publics, Power, and Performance in Yemen.

Peripheral Visions

University of Chicago Press: She then disputes peri;heral that the social services provided by Islamist groups in response to hardships inflicted by economic reforms act to delegitimize states, pointing out that many groups involved in such activities operate within a national framework that they do not contest or seek to undermine.

Revealing what holds Yemen together in such tenuous circumstances, Peripheral Visions shows how citizens form national attachments even in the absence of strong state institutions. This account is overly binaristic, but more importantly fails to evaluate substantive representation: Matthew Pinas rated it it was amazing Oct 25, Yemenis, for example, regularly gather to chew qat, a leafy drug similar to caffeine, as they engage in wide-ranging and sometimes influential public discussions of even the most divisive political and social issues.

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It wasn’t terrible, but I suppose I’m just not used to reading political science writing outside of a college setting. The sheer scale of the security, political and economic challenges facing Yemen suggests the country will remain on the international agenda in the coming years.

Having posed these questions, Wedeen goes on to explain in the introduction why Yemen is a good case study for a discussion of the making of national attachments and their relationship to political order:. I had to reread several passages over and over, and sometime I honestly thought I’d never get through this one, but I made a promise to myself to finish every book I start.


Account Options Sign in. University of Chicago Press, Project MUSE Mission Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Want to Read saving…. Email required Address never made public.

Twitter Facebook Youtube Tumblr. While some parts – namely those that went into detail about aspects of Yemeni society – were quite interesting, a lot of the long-winded explanations of certain anthropological concepts left my head spinning. To ask other readers questions about Peripheral Visionsplease sign up. Billionaires and Stealth Politics Benjamin I. Sakire Dogan rated it liked it Aug 31, Let me preface this by saying that I know nothing about Yemen, so the case itself is not of particular interest to me.

Wedeen concludes that, while democratic practices can exist in the absence of genuinely contested elections, their existence does not imply a proliferation of liberal values, questioning commonly held assumptions over a natural link between the two. Lisa Wedeen, who spent a year and a half in Yemen observing and interviewing its residents, argues that national solidarity in such weak states tends to arise not from attachments to institutions but through both extraordinary events and the ordinary activities of everyday life.

Best political science writing I’ve read in awhile.