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 politics, development and security in the Middle East, and on the politics of state-building. She spent several years living and working in Yemen and has advised numerous Western governments and aid agencies on matters relating to Yemen and the Middle East. Her most recent book, ‘Yemen and the Politics of Permanent Crisis’ analyses the nature 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, and the other (with Justin Hastings) examining the organisational dynamics of pirate organisations. In addition to these projects, Sarah’s other research interests include the securitisation of development issues, the management of violence beyond the state, and the impact of external actors on domestic incentives to provide security, development and economic growth. 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

  • Yemeni politics
  • Political reform in the Middle East
  • Non-state security challenges
  • Jihadi networks
  • Tribal politics
  • Instability in the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa
  • Political reform and the development/security nexus

Current projects

Film or Broadcast

Phillips, S. (2011) Interview on One Plus One, ABC1, 6 May.

Phillips, S. (2011) Interview on Radio National Breakfast, 4 May.

Phillips, S. (2011) Interview on Late Night Live with Phillip Adams, 7 April.

Phillips, S. (2011) Interview on Saturday Morning Extra, 26 March.

Newspaper Opinion Pieces

Phillips, S., (2012) 'Yemen: US fight against al Qaeda likely to fail', The Interpreter, 29 May.

Phillips, S. (2011) ‘Figurehead comes to light within alQa'ida's most dangerous franchise’ The Australian, 5 May.

Phillips, S. (2011) ‘Western policymakers shouldn't accept this Saleh spin’ The Guardian, 10 April.

Phillips, S. (2011) ‘Yemen Terrorists are Pawns of Power’ The Australian, 5 April.

PhD and master's project opportunities

Selected grants

2013

  • 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

  • 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. Abingdon: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.
  • Phillips, S. (2008). Yemen's Democracy Experiment in Regional Perspective: Patronage and Pluralized Authoritarianism. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Book Chapters

  • 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. (2013). Yemen. In Ellen Lust-Okar (Eds.), The Middle East. Washington: Sage Publications.
  • 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. (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. (2013). Political Settlements and State Formation: The Case of Somaliland.
  • Solahudin, -., Bubalo, A., Phillips, S., Yasmeen, S. (2011). Talib or Taliban? Indonesian students in Pakistan and Yemen.
  • Phillips, S. (2011). Yemen: Developmental Dysfunction and Division in a Crisis State.
  • Phillips, S., Shanahan, R. (2009). Al-Qa'ida, tribes and instability in Yemen.
  • 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.

Other

  • Phillips, S., Throsby, M. (2010), The Morning Interview with Margaret Throsby: Dr Sarah Phillips. Extended radio interview.
  • Phillips, S., Adams, P., MacDonald, K. (2010), The Yemen Threat. National radio interview.
  • Phillips, S. (2009), The Dilemmas of Opposition in the Arab World.
  • Phillips, S. (2009), Tribes and Militants in the Arab World.
  • Phillips, S. (2009), Yemen on the Brink: Implications for Regional Stability.
  • Phillips, S. (2007), Evaluating political reform in Yemen.

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.

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.
  • 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. (2013). Yemen. In Ellen Lust-Okar (Eds.), The Middle East. Washington: Sage Publications.

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). Yemen. The Oxford Companion to American Politics. Oxford University Press.

2011

  • Phillips, S. (2011). Al-Qaeda and the Struggle for Yemen. Survival (Abingdon), 53(1), 95-120. [More Information]
  • Solahudin, -., Bubalo, A., Phillips, S., Yasmeen, S. (2011). Talib or Taliban? Indonesian students in Pakistan and Yemen.
  • Phillips, S. (2011). Yemen and the Politics of Permanent Crisis. Abingdon: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.
  • Phillips, S. (2011). Yemen: Developmental Dysfunction and Division in a Crisis State.

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., Throsby, M. (2010), The Morning Interview with Margaret Throsby: Dr Sarah Phillips. Extended radio interview.
  • Phillips, S., Adams, P., MacDonald, K. (2010), The Yemen Threat. National radio interview.
  • 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.
  • Phillips, S. (2009). Politics in a Vacuum: The Yemeni Opposition's Dilemma.
  • Phillips, S. (2009), The Dilemmas of Opposition in the Arab World.
  • Phillips, S. (2009), Tribes and Militants in the Arab World.
  • 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 on the Brink: Implications for Regional Stability.
  • 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's Democracy Experiment in Regional Perspective: Patronage and Pluralized Authoritarianism. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • 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.

2007

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

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.

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