Dr Sarah Phillips

BA(Hons) Newcastle, PhD ANU
Senior Lecturer

H04 - Merewether Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9114 0833

Website Contact Details

Biographical details

Sarah Phillips lectures in international security and development, international relations, and comparative politics. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa - particularly in Yemen, Somaliland, Kenya, Jordan, Pakistan, and Oman - and has advised numerous governments and international development agencies on matters pertaining to these areas. Her most recent book, ‘Yemen and the Politics of Permanent Crisis’ analyses the dynamics of the country’s informal institutions amid rapid political and social change.

Sarah currently holds two Australian Research Council (ARC) grants: one examining state-formation and external finance in Somalia/Somaliland, and the other examining the organisational dynamics of pirate organisations. More broadly, her research investigates the securitsation of development, post colonial perspectives on international relations, the politics of contemporary state-building, the management of violence beyond the state, non-state actors and informal institutions, and tribes and state formation. She is available to supervise postgraduate students with an interest in studying these areas. The primary geographic scope of her work is the Middle East and the Horn of Africa, with a specific focus on Yemen and Somalia/Somaliland.

Research interests

  • The "security-development nexus"
  • State formation and state "failure"
  • Stabilisation and external intervention
  • Post-conflict development
  • Post-colonial theory
  • Non-state actors and development
  • Yemeni politics
  • Somali politics

PhD and master's project opportunities

Selected grants

2013

  • State formation and external finance: a case study of Somaliland; Phillips S; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA).
  • Uncovering the organisational dynamics of pirates and maritime terrorists; Hastings J, Phillips S, Asal V, Rethemeyer R; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).

2012

  • Creating A Multi-Methodological Agenda for Studying the Organisational Characteristics of Pirate Syndicates; Hastings J, Phillips S, Asal V, LaFree G; DVC International/IPDF Grant.
  • Religion, State and Society in the Muslim World; Humphrey M, Phillips S, Rahim L, Sobrera L, Winter B; Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences/FASS Collaborative Research Scheme.

Selected publications

Download citations: PDF RTF Endnote

Books

  • Phillips, S. (2011). Yemen and the Politics of Permanent Crisis, London: The Adelphi Series (an International Institute for Strategic Studies publication), Number 420, July 2011. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Phillips, S. (2008). Yemens Democracy Experiment in Regional Perspective: Patronage and Pluralized Authoritarianism. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Book Chapters

  • Phillips, S. (2014). Questioning Failure, Stability and Risk in Yemen (forthcoming). In Mehran Kamrava (Eds.), Fragile Politics: Weak States in the Greater Middle East. London: Hurst and Company.
  • Phillips, S. (2014). Yemen. In Ellen Lust (Eds.), The Middle East, (pp. 866-886). Los Angeles: CQ Press.
  • Phillips, S. (2013). Good Governance and Air Strikes: America's Awkward Toolkit in Yemen. In Shahram Akbarzadeh, Benjamin MacQueen, James Piscatori and Amin Saikal (Eds.), American Democracy Promotion in a Changing Middle East: From Bush to Obama, (pp. 129-142). London: Routledge.
  • Phillips, S. (2013). Tracing the Cracks in the Yemeni System. In David McMurray, Amanda Ufheil-Somers (Eds.), The Arab Revolts: Dispatches on Militant Democracy in the Middle East, (pp. 137-143). Bloomington, United States: Indiana University Press.
  • Phillips, S. (2010). Breaking Yemen Apart. In Ramzy Mardini (Eds.), The Battle for Yemen: Al-Qaeda and the Struggle for Stability, (pp. 56-60). Washington, D.C.: The Jamestown Foundation.
  • Phillips, S. (2010). What comes next in Yemen? Al-Qaeda, the tribes and state-building. In Christopher Boucek and Marina Ottaway (Eds.), Yemen on the Brink, (pp. 75-89). USA: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
  • Phillips, S. (2008). Yemen: The Centrality of Process. In Marina Ottaway, Julia Choucair-Vizoso (Eds.), Beyond the Façade: Political Reform in the Arab World, (pp. 231-259). Washington D.C. USA: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Journals

  • Phillips, S. (2011). Al-Qaeda and the Struggle for Yemen. Survival (Abingdon), 53(1), 95-120. [More Information]
  • Phillips, S. (2010). Breaking Yemen Apart: Al-Qaeda Exploits Divisions to Further its Agenda. Terrorism Monitor, 8(19), 1-3.

Conferences

  • Hastings, J., Phillips, S. (2014). Maritime Piracy Business Networks and Local Governance in Africa and the Middle East. International Studies Association Conference 2014, USA: International Studies Association.
  • Phillips, S. (2012). State Formation and Human Agency: The Case of Somaliland. Australian Political Science Association Annual Conference 2012, Hobart: Australian Political Studies Association.
  • Phillips, S. (2010). Patronage and Instability in Yemen. Middle East Studies Association (MESA) 2010 Annual Meeting, USA: Middle East Studies Association of North America, Inc.
  • Phillips, S. (2010). The Forest for the Trees: Al-Qa'ida and "Stabilisation" in Yemen. The 2010 Exeter Gulf Studies Conference: "The 21st Century Gulf: The Challenge of Identity" (IAIS 2010), on line (UK): Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies (Exeter University).
  • Phillips, S. (2009). Will the Tribes Trump the Jihadis? Observations from Yemen, Iraq and Somalia. Third Australaisan Conference on the Economics and Politics of War and Peace.
  • Phillips, S. (2009). Yemen's Postcards from the Edge: al-Qa'ida, Tribes and Nervous Neighbours. Australian Political Studies Association Annual Conference 2009, Sydney, NSW: Macquarie University.
  • Phillips, S. (2008). JMP Opposition Coalition Dynamics. Current Developments in Yemen: Seminar for the United States State Department, United States of America.
  • Phillips, S. (2007). Embracing the Coalition Concept. Original Political Party Training Seminar Series, Yemen: National Democratic Institute.
  • Phillips, S. (2006). Democratization and the Persistence of Authoritarianism in Yemen, 1994-2006. Middle East Studies Association (MESA) 2006 Annual Meeting, Tuscon, AZ, USA: Middle East Studies Association of North America, Inc.

Magazine / Newspaper Articles

  • Phillips, S. (2013). Somaliland: Where sovereignty means something. The Interpreter.
  • Phillips, S. (2012). Yemen: US fight against al Qaeda likely to fail. The Interpreter.
  • Phillips, S. (2011). Figurehead comes to light within al-Qa'ida's most dangerous franchise. The Australian.
  • Phillips, S. (2011). Western policymakers shouldn't accept this Saleh spin. The Guardian.
  • Phillips, S. (2011). Who Tried to Kill Ali Abdullah Saleh. Foreign Policy.
  • Phillips, S. (2011). Yemen Terrorists are Pawns of Power. The Australian.
  • Phillips, S. (2010). US risks boost to al-Qa'ida by Yemen attacks. The Australian.
  • Phillips, S. (2010). Yemen asks for aid to ward off Al-Qaeda. The Australian.
  • Phillips, S. (2006). Foreboding About the Future in Yemen. Middle East Report Online, N/A.
  • Phillips, S. (2006). Yemen's Opposition Hopes to Gain in Elections by Government Mistakes. Arab Reform Bulletin, Vol 4:7.
  • Phillips, S. (2005). Cracks in the Yemeni System. Middle East Report Online, N/A.
  • Phillips, S. (2005). Economic and Political Deterioration in Yemen. Arab Reform Bulletin, Vol 3:7.

Report

  • Phillips, S. (2012). The National Political Situation in Yemen. NOREF (The Norwegian Peacebuilding Institute), April.
  • Phillips, S. (2009). Politics in a Vacuum: The Yemeni Opposition's Dilemma.

Reference Works

  • Phillips, S. (2012). Yemen. The Oxford Companion to American Politics. Oxford University Press.

2014

  • Hastings, J., Phillips, S. (2014). Maritime Piracy Business Networks and Local Governance in Africa and the Middle East. International Studies Association Conference 2014, USA: International Studies Association.
  • Phillips, S. (2014). Questioning Failure, Stability and Risk in Yemen (forthcoming). In Mehran Kamrava (Eds.), Fragile Politics: Weak States in the Greater Middle East. London: Hurst and Company.
  • Phillips, S. (2014). Yemen. In Ellen Lust (Eds.), The Middle East, (pp. 866-886). Los Angeles: CQ Press.

2013

  • Phillips, S. (2013). Good Governance and Air Strikes: America's Awkward Toolkit in Yemen. In Shahram Akbarzadeh, Benjamin MacQueen, James Piscatori and Amin Saikal (Eds.), American Democracy Promotion in a Changing Middle East: From Bush to Obama, (pp. 129-142). London: Routledge.
  • Phillips, S. (2013), Political Settlements and State Formation: The Case of Somaliland. , , , 1-95.
  • Phillips, S. (2013). Somaliland: Where sovereignty means something. The Interpreter.
  • Phillips, S. (2013). Tracing the Cracks in the Yemeni System. In David McMurray, Amanda Ufheil-Somers (Eds.), The Arab Revolts: Dispatches on Militant Democracy in the Middle East, (pp. 137-143). Bloomington, United States: Indiana University Press.

2012

  • Phillips, S. (2012). State Formation and Human Agency: The Case of Somaliland. Australian Political Science Association Annual Conference 2012, Hobart: Australian Political Studies Association.
  • Phillips, S. (2012). The National Political Situation in Yemen. NOREF (The Norwegian Peacebuilding Institute), April.
  • Phillips, S. (2012). Yemen. The Oxford Companion to American Politics. Oxford University Press.
  • Phillips, S. (2012). Yemen: US fight against al Qaeda likely to fail. The Interpreter.

2011

  • Phillips, S. (2011). Al-Qaeda and the Struggle for Yemen. Survival (Abingdon), 53(1), 95-120. [More Information]
  • Phillips, S. (2011). Figurehead comes to light within al-Qa'ida's most dangerous franchise. The Australian.
  • Solahudin, -., Bubalo, A., Phillips, S., Yasmeen, S. (2011), Talib or Taliban? Indonesian students in Pakistan and Yemen. , , , 1-60.
  • Phillips, S. (2011). Western policymakers shouldn't accept this Saleh spin. The Guardian.
  • Phillips, S. (2011). Who Tried to Kill Ali Abdullah Saleh. Foreign Policy.
  • Phillips, S. (2011). Yemen and the Politics of Permanent Crisis, London: The Adelphi Series (an International Institute for Strategic Studies publication), Number 420, July 2011. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Phillips, S. (2011). Yemen Terrorists are Pawns of Power. The Australian.
  • Phillips, S. (2011), Yemen: Developmental Dysfunction and Division in a Crisis State. , , , 1-86.

2010

  • Phillips, S. (2010). Breaking Yemen Apart. In Ramzy Mardini (Eds.), The Battle for Yemen: Al-Qaeda and the Struggle for Stability, (pp. 56-60). Washington, D.C.: The Jamestown Foundation.
  • Phillips, S. (2010). Breaking Yemen Apart: Al-Qaeda Exploits Divisions to Further its Agenda. Terrorism Monitor, 8(19), 1-3.
  • Phillips, S. (2010). Patronage and Instability in Yemen. Middle East Studies Association (MESA) 2010 Annual Meeting, USA: Middle East Studies Association of North America, Inc.
  • Phillips, S. (2010). The Forest for the Trees: Al-Qa'ida and "Stabilisation" in Yemen. The 2010 Exeter Gulf Studies Conference: "The 21st Century Gulf: The Challenge of Identity" (IAIS 2010), on line (UK): Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies (Exeter University).
  • Phillips, S. (2010). US risks boost to al-Qa'ida by Yemen attacks. The Australian.
  • Phillips, S. (2010). What comes next in Yemen? Al-Qaeda, the tribes and state-building. In Christopher Boucek and Marina Ottaway (Eds.), Yemen on the Brink, (pp. 75-89). USA: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
  • Phillips, S. (2010). Yemen asks for aid to ward off Al-Qaeda. The Australian.

2009

  • Phillips, S., Shanahan, R. (2009), Al-Qa'ida, tribes and instability in Yemen. , , , 1-14.
  • Phillips, S. (2009). Politics in a Vacuum: The Yemeni Opposition's Dilemma.
  • Phillips, S. (2009). Will the Tribes Trump the Jihadis? Observations from Yemen, Iraq and Somalia. Third Australaisan Conference on the Economics and Politics of War and Peace.
  • Phillips, S. (2009). Yemen's Postcards from the Edge: al-Qa'ida, Tribes and Nervous Neighbours. Australian Political Studies Association Annual Conference 2009, Sydney, NSW: Macquarie University.

2008

  • Phillips, S. (2008). JMP Opposition Coalition Dynamics. Current Developments in Yemen: Seminar for the United States State Department, United States of America.
  • Phillips, S. (2008). Yemen: The Centrality of Process. In Marina Ottaway, Julia Choucair-Vizoso (Eds.), Beyond the Façade: Political Reform in the Arab World, (pp. 231-259). Washington D.C. USA: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
  • Phillips, S. (2008). Yemens Democracy Experiment in Regional Perspective: Patronage and Pluralized Authoritarianism. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

2007

  • Phillips, S. (2007). Embracing the Coalition Concept. Original Political Party Training Seminar Series, Yemen: National Democratic Institute.

2006

  • Phillips, S. (2006). Democratization and the Persistence of Authoritarianism in Yemen, 1994-2006. Middle East Studies Association (MESA) 2006 Annual Meeting, Tuscon, AZ, USA: Middle East Studies Association of North America, Inc.
  • Phillips, S. (2006). Foreboding About the Future in Yemen. Middle East Report Online, N/A.
  • Phillips, S. (2006). Yemen's Opposition Hopes to Gain in Elections by Government Mistakes. Arab Reform Bulletin, Vol 4:7.

2005

  • Phillips, S. (2005). Cracks in the Yemeni System. Middle East Report Online, N/A.
  • Phillips, S. (2005). Economic and Political Deterioration in Yemen. Arab Reform Bulletin, Vol 3:7.

For support on your academic profile contact .