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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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The book embraces the theory of performativity—that by stating or measuring a phenomenon that phenomenon is also evoked.

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

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. Published October 1st by University of Chicago Press.

Maggie rated it really liked it Jun 10, Revealing what holds Yemen together Paul rated it really liked it Feb 04, Wedeen explores the making of identity beyond the institutional apparatus of the state and electoral politics for a country with distinct lissa multiple loyalties to tribe, region, and religious groupings. Lisa Wedeen, who spent a year and a half in Yemen vidions 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.

Her focus is on the chew as performative practice p. Thanks for sharing this review, Andy.

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

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Yoav lisq it liked it Nov 06, To pursue this illustration, the book presents an extended account of qat chews, a Yemeni tradition in which conversations about public or private matters take place among people as they chew qata plant containing a stimulant related to caffeine.

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The widespread currency of minimalist definitions in policymaking circles means that such debates are not merely theoretical, but rather have significant practical implications.

Want to Read saving…. Why does Yemen hold together to the extent that it does? She asks whether the weakness of some authoritarian states could in fact enhance the potential for political activism and critical debate, using the format of the Yemeni qat chew as a case study.

I use the scare quotes because, as the book notes, they had never before been united. Billionaires and Stealth Politics Benjamin I. Allison rated it it was amazing Jun 06, 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 role of the qat chew as a public sphere is examined in Chapter Three.

It is this combination that makes it not only a compelling piece of scholarship, but also a profoundly useful course reading for those curious students.

In the fourth chapter, Wedeen articulately dispels a number of common myths. Mike rated it liked it Apr 08, She then disputes assertions 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.

Both of these were worthwhile: Her work on the Middle East includes Ambiguities of Domination, an ethnographic study of the culture of the spectacle in Syria under Hafez al-Assad. The book presents challenging but refreshing discussions of nationalism, democracy and identity in a way that prioritizes experience on the ground over comfortable theoretical assumptions. Nov 16, Hamza rated it liked it Shelves: Publics, Power and Performance in Yemen provides a wealth of expert observations and analysis of this complex and frequently misunderstood country, dispelling a number of myths along the way.

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Wedeen argues that focusing on the performative aspects of politics allows for an appreciation of the contingency of solidarities and the fluid nature of identities.

Preview — Peripheral Visions by Lisa Wedeen.

Peripheral Visions: Publics, Power, and Performance in Yemen

Increasing media coverage in the past year, which has often portrayed the country as a basket case on the brink of implosion, has done little to provide a nuanced portrayal of the young state. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Joshua rated it really liked it Jul 23, Learn how your comment data is processed.

She has taught courses on nationalism, identity formation, power and resistance, and citizenship. Carly Gimenez rated it it was ok Sep 09, Shaza rated it really liked it Jan 30, The University of Chicago Press,