YPW News • March 21, 2013
Holger Albrecht published in March 2013 a short paper with the United States Institute of Peace summing up YPC survey findings on public perceptions on security. Albrecht spent several weeks in Yemen for a USIP fellowship to research the Yemeni military.
The Yemen Polling Center (YPC)—an independent think-tank in Sanaa—issued a report, on January 30, 2013, on the public perception of the Yemenisecurity sector.1 In a country-wide survey, a questionnaire was distributed to 1,990 respondents, with an even number of male and female respondents. The report allowsfor an interpretation that issomewhatsurprising. In a nutshell, Yemenis perceive the state’ssecurity establishment as notoriously ineffective, if not virtually absent. With ongoing civil warsin the North and South of the country,significant al-Qaida activism in the Southern governorates, frequent assassinations ofsecurity personnel and politicians, and the irregular kidnapping of foreigners, there is objectively no security at all in a country routinely described as a failed state by Western observers. Yet, the majority of Yemenis, whether in urban or in rural areas, do not necessarily feel insecure in an environment where public security arrangements are absent or dysfunctional.