Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Politics and International Relations

Reader 1

Thomas Kim

Reader 2

Sumita Pahwa

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Rights Information

© 2017 Rosemary C. Kepple


The history of southern Yemen has been a unique story of various political factions aligning and realigning themselves in waves of intra-elite conflict, based on the setting of formal and informal institutions. This paper builds on existing literature about informal institutions to analyze the role that political institutions have played in promoting and preventing these conflicts since it became independent in 1967. By using a temporal analysis of historical and contemporary institutions, this paper asks how political institutions have impacted southern Yemen since it gained independence and how these institutions have changed since the start of the current civil war. It additionally looks at the statements of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) in the context of the current civil war to understand how both types of institutions are operating today. This paper will thus argue that the discrepancy between what formal state institutions claim to do and what they are able to creates the space for informal institutions to develop. Furthermore, it will argue that the dialectic between formal and informal institutions can explain periods of relative stability and instability along with the current conditions in the civil war have allowed informal institutions to prosper.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.