Performing Political Domination in Yemen. Narratives and Practices of Power in the General People's Congress

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Abstract

As a heterogeneous organisation characterised by a loose ideology and historically based on inclusion and dialogue, the General People's Congress (GPC), in power since its establishment in 1982, may have momentarily achieved a certain balance of power, participating to a broader formula of stability in Yemen based on political integration rather than violent confrontation with potential rivals. However, challenged since the 2000s by a unified opposition, rising regional conflicts and the leadership's uneasy partnership with the USA in the Global War on Terror, the GPC seems increasingly less capable of appeasing and mediating political, economic, social and religious divides. Even more so, it appears that the ruling party's strategy of inclusion has paradoxically played a significant role in the erosion of institutional pluralism in Yemen, encouraging the development of large co-optation mechanisms and generating various forms of violent political exclusion. The aim of this article is to explore how the ruling party has progressively imposed a constrictive framework for political expression, allowing it to maintain its domination. Thoroughly investigating the schemes of domination produced and performed by the GPC, this study further questions the extent to which they account for structural violence in contemporary Yemen.

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