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.


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  • The EU and Belarus after the election

    Jana Kobzova, Andrew Wilson - 26 January, 2011

    A weakened Lukashenka means it's time the EU started talking to Russia

    ECFR podcasts - experts and big names talking about Europe's place in the world - in English, Spanish, French, German and Italian

    20 December, 2010

    ECFR reports: Gulnur Aybet on Turkey & NATO ECFR agenda: Kosovo's elections & the Balkans ECFR español: José Ignacio Torreblanca presenta "La fragmentación del poder europeo" ECFR italiano: le missioni civili all'estero…

    The last dictator's last hurrah

    Andrew Wilson - 18 December, 2010

    President Lukashenka doesn't expect to lose the election being held in Belarus, but the great survivor knows that his basic strategy is under severe strain - both at home and abroad.

    A new deal for the eurozone

    Thomas Klau - 16 December, 2010

    The Maastricht foundation that underpins the € has been shown to be a fair weather construct, unsuited to the economic troubles of the last two years. Now a new storm-proof framework is needed, with Germany sharing economic sovereignty in exchange for other eurozone members…

    Lessons from Tripoli

    Susi Dennison - 16 December, 2010

    There are two important lessons to be learned from last month's EU-Africa summit. First, Europe needs to reassert its diplomatic clout after a post-Lisbon period of uncertainty. Second, it needs to think more cleverly about how to promote its values in a world where our…

    Chinese Democracy

    José Ignacio Torreblanca - 16 December, 2010

    It is easy to resign oneself to the idea that 'Chinese democracy' is an oxymoron. Yet the potential implications of democratisation in China are so huge that the possiblity of it happening is worth imagining. Lu Xiaobo allows us to do so, if only for a few hours.

    India and Europe still need each other

    Richard Gowan and Sushant K. Singh - 9 December, 2010

    A shift in the power balance between the EU and India has changed the two powers' attitudes to each other, but there will still be plenty to talk about at their summit this week. Concluding a free trade agreement, and greater strategic cooperation on a range of security…

    The euro will be saved only if Europe exists

    9 December, 2010

    Europe needs to convince the world that its political unity is not in question. Only "federation light," and a functional federal budget big enough to make macroeconomic stability part of its normal functioning, will convince the markets and everybody else that the EU and the…

    No more heroes?

    Richard Gowan - 8 December, 2010

    David Cameron, the British prime minister, says that the G20 has passed its “heroic phase.” Certainly the last leaders' meeting in Seoul lacked the high drama of those during the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009. But perhaps we need to redefine heroic leadership:…

    Beyond Cancun: EU engagement with China on climate change

    Jonas Parello-Plesner - 6 December, 2010

    Cancun will not achieve a global deal, but that should not mean that the EU gives up. By pursuing bilateral deals, particularly with China, and engaging with civil society, Europe can make progress on climate change even in the absence of worldwide agreement. Such innovative…

    Model, partner, rival

    Jose Ignacio Torreblanca - 3 December, 2010

    Germany was a model for the post-Franco rebuilding of Spanish democracy, and for a time was perhaps Spain's most important ever partner. The switch to rivalry in recent years, and Spain's failure to support Germany while it struggled with the financial implications of…