By Lisa Wedeen
Lisa Wedeen, who spent a yr and a part in Yemen looking at and interviewing its citizens, argues that nationwide team spirit in such vulnerable states has a tendency to come up now not from attachments to associations yet via either amazing occasions and the normal actions of daily life. Yemenis, for instance, usually assemble to bite qat, a leafy drug just like caffeine, as they interact in wide-ranging and infrequently influential public discussions of even the main divisive political and social matters. those energetic debates exemplify Wedeen’s competition that democratic, nationwide, and pious solidarities paintings as ongoing, performative practices that enact and reproduce a citizenry’s shared issues of reference. eventually, her skillful evocations of such practices shift recognition clear of a slim concentrate on govt associations and electoral pageant and towards the noticeable event of participatory politics.