Who’s who in the Middle East? The Houthis

07.05.2024 12:00 - 13:00English

Already engaged in a devastating civil war in Yemen, the Houthi movement is now picking a war with the West. Who are they?

Photo: JeanUrsula

In response to Israel’s bombing of Gaza, the Houthis began attacking civilian vessels off the Yemeni coast in the Red Sea. This has disrupted global shipping and raised fears about a regional war.

Are the attacks really part of Iran’s proxy war with the West? The Houthis are engaged in a civil war in Yemen, so is this rather a testament to chaotic conditions in Yemen?

Who are the Houthis? What is their ideology, military capacity, and governing capabilities? Are they representatives of a sovereign state in the making? Are they Islamists, rebels, terrorists or freedom fighters?

A light lunch will be served.


The event is part of the series Who’s who in the Middle East. In this series, Pelle Valentin Olsen invites researchers to help you navigate the many actors in the region.

They will explain the role of state and non-state actors and their ideologies. What are the interests of regional and global powers? What are the histories we have not been taught What histories and perspectives have simply been reduced to footnotes in international news coverage?

Pelle will hold an introductory lecture to the series just before this panel, at 11:15-11:45.

Event info.

Bergen Global
Jekteviksbakken 31, Bergen

07.05.2024
12:00 - 13:00
English
Add to calendar 07.05.2024, 07.05.2024
Alexander Weissenburger
Associated Researcher, Austrian Academy of Science

Alexander Weissenburger is associated researcher at the Austrian Academy of Science's Institute for Social Anthropology. His PhD thesis investigates the ideology of the Yemeni Huthi movement.

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Eirik Hovden
Researcher, UiB

Eirik Hovden is a scholar of Yemeni and Zaydi history. He has worked on comparative medieval history at the Austrian Academic of Sciences as well as on traditional Zaydi Islamic law of governance at UiB.

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Maria-Louise Clausen
Senior Researcher, Danish Institute for International Studies

Maria-Louise Clausen is a Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies, fellow in the Sectarianism, Proxies & De-sectarianisation project and PI on the Violent Peacemakers project (2022-2025) funded by the Danish Independent Research Fund.

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Pelle Valentin Olsen
Associate Professor, UiB

Pelle Valentin Olsen is a cultural, social, and transnational historian of the modern Middle East. His research and teaching focus on the history of leisure, labor, gender, sexuality, popular culture, and cultural production.

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Alexander Weissenburger

Associated Researcher, Austrian Academy of Science

Alexander Weissenburger is associated researcher at the Austrian Academy of Science's Institute for Social Anthropology. His PhD thesis investigates the ideology of the Yemeni Huthi movement.

In 2024, the Defence Academy of the Austrian Armed Forces Austrian published the edited volume Yemen at a crossroads – What remains of Arabia Felix?, co-edited by Weissenburger.

Weissenburger holds an MLitt in Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asian Security Studies from the University of St Andrews and an MA in Islamic Studies from the University of Vienna where he taught Middle Eastern and Arabic grammar.

Eirik Hovden

Researcher, UiB

Eirik Hovden is a scholar of Yemeni and Zaydi history. He has worked on comparative medieval history at the Austrian Academic of Sciences as well as on traditional Zaydi Islamic law of governance at UiB.

Hovden is currently leading a TMS starting grant about the development and change in Islamic law seen through the concepts of canonization and codification, located at the Department of Foreign Languages and Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion at UiB.

See personal page.

Maria-Louise Clausen

Senior Researcher, Danish Institute for International Studies

Maria-Louise Clausen is a Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies, fellow in the Sectarianism, Proxies & De-sectarianisation project and PI on the Violent Peacemakers project (2022-2025) funded by the Danish Independent Research Fund.

Her work centers on the relationship between state and non-state actors, state-building, and how global inequalities impact the justifications and implications of international intervention with a geographic focus on Iraq and Yemen. She has published on these issues in journals such as Third World Quarterly, Public Administration and Development, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, Small Wars and Insurgencies, as well as International Affairs.

See personal page.

Pelle Valentin Olsen

Associate Professor, UiB

Pelle Valentin Olsen is a cultural, social, and transnational historian of the modern Middle East. His research and teaching focus on the history of leisure, labor, gender, sexuality, popular culture, and cultural production.

He focusses specifically on Iraq, but his work simultaneously explores transregional and transnational connections, highlighting everyday perspectives and voices often left out by traditional political and state-centered histories.

He received his PhD with honors from the University of Chicago in 2020. Previously, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Roskilde University in Denmark, where he worked on the ‘Entangled Histories of Palestine and the Global New Left’ project.

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Bergen Global is a joint initiative between the University of Bergen and Chr. Michelsen Institute that addresses global challenges.