Experts & Staff: Alumni



Helen Lackner is a visiting fellow at the European Council for Foreign Relations and a research associate at SOAS University of London. Her most recent book is Yemen in Crisis: Autocracy, Neo-Liberalism and the Disintegration of a State (Saqi Books, 2017; Verso in the United States, 2019; Arabic translation, 2020). She is the editor of the annual Journal of the British-Yemeni Society. She is a regular contributor to Open Democracy, Arab Digest, and Oxford Analyticaamong other outlets. She has spoken on the Yemeni crisis in many public forums, including in the UK House of Commons.

Her earlier career as a rural development consultant took her to more than 30 countries in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Europe, where she worked on a wide range of projects. In recent years, she has refocused on in-depth analytic work and writing. She now mainly writes about the crisis in Yemen, a country with which she has been involved since the early 1970s and where she lived for more than 15 years between the 1970s and the 2010s.


Latest from

  • Bringing good news from Ghent

    Nick Witney - 20 September, 2010

    If there was ever a moment for defence ministers to pool their efforts and resources, then this is it. Defence budgets across the continent are being severely cut as austerity measures kick in. Ahead of the defence ministers' meeting in Ghent on 23-24 September, Nick Witney…

    Decision time for Afghanistan

    Susi Dennison - 17 September, 2010

    If the EU wants to be a credible promoter of democracy, it needs to highlight the achievement of holding elections in Afghanistan, rather than dwell too long on the undoubted imperfections. Many Afghans are taking part in the elections despite the danger of violence and concerns…

    Germany goes global: farewell, Europe?

    Ulrike Guérot - 16 September, 2010

    The great engine both of Europe’s economic strength and its political unity is falling out of love with its creation. Some fear that Germany has outgrown Europe - but either way the consequences of German disaffection are profound for both the EU and its other member…

    Sharing aircraft carriers

    Nick Witney - 14 September, 2010

    Tight budgets mean hard choices. For instance, new aircraft carriers would be lovely but they cost a lot. As the UK's Strategic Defence and Security Review reaches its final stages, Nick Witney argues that perhaps it’s time to start sharing with the French.

    Stronger than it thinks it is: how Europe should deal with China

    Mark Leonard and Francois Godement - 10 September, 2010

    The question of how the EU should deal with the world's rising powers will dominate the informal Gymnich foreign ministers' meeting and the European Council meeting over the next week. In a memo to European leaders, François Godement and Mark Leonard argue that the…

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    9 September, 2010

    Europe?s most persecuted people?

    Ben Judah - 8 September, 2010

    Roma numbers are rising, while President Sarkozy's recent campaign against the Roma people highlights their growing persecution across Europe. Ben Judah argues that there is a real danger that a large proportion of the EU’s population could effectively end up being…

    Europe and the China Challenge

    François Godement - 7 September, 2010

    Could the dream of a “G3”  between the EU, China and the US ever become a reality? Or will the EU remain in the sidelines? Francois Godement argues in a piece for Le Monde that to avoid irrelevance, the EU needs to decide what it wants from China. (article in…

    Don't pretend the EU is the Red Cross

    Richard Gowan - 6 September, 2010

    Pakistan's floods; Haiti's earthquake; Russia's fires. What did the EU do to help? Richard Gowan argues that the EU must improve its political response to crises and not just its ability to deliver aid.

    Tomorrow's warriors

    Richard Gowan - 2 September, 2010

    Europeans need to respect what non-Western powers think, and that includes their militaries. Europe's Asian, African and Latin American counterparts are already playing a more vital role on the world stage; once Europe's defence budget cuts start to bite, this role will only…

    A crisis of values?

    Susi Dennison - 18 August, 2010

    The economic crisis has unquestionably dented the credibility of the liberal international order and caused a Europe-wide identity crisis. But, Susi Dennison argues, it would be a dangerous time for the EU to abandon its values, principles and approach to international…

    Calling in the EU-Team

    Richard Gowan - 10 August, 2010

    The EU needs to go beyond the standard "wait, react, peacekeep!" approach to handling looming crises. Instead, Richard Gowan argues, the EU ought to focus on early diplomacy. Given the strains on national budgets, this may be a job for the EU-Team (aka the European External…