Dr. phil.






Marieke Brandt is a senior researcher at the ISA. Her research focuses on ethnicity and tribal societies, (tribal) genealogy and history, tribe-state relations and governance in South Arabia, particularly Yemen, where she spent living for five years. She was PhD fellow of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, DAAD fellow in Sanaa, Marie Skłodowska-Curie (MSCA) fellow of the European Union, and PI of the New Frontiers Groups Programme (NFG) project “Deciphering Local Power Politics in Northern Yemen”. Her award-winning first book, Tribes and Politics in Yemen: A History of the Houthi Conflict (OUP, 2017) reconstructs the evolution and local complexities of Yemen’s Houthi conflict. Her second book The Tale of a Feud: Dominance, Resistance, and Agency in Highland Yemen (Brill, forthcoming) retells recent Yemeni history from the vantage point of those who were in constant opposition to republican Yemen’s political system. Her research has been published in renowned journals, among them Anthropos, Journal of Arabian Studies, Anthropology of the Middle East, International Journal for Middle East Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, and Medieval Worlds.

Marieke is a scholar with a severe disability (deaf).


  • Tribal societies in Southwest Arabia (main focus: Highland Yemen)
  • Ethnicity, genealogy, and kinship
  • Tribe-state relation and governance
  • Anthropology of mediation and conflict
  • Customary law
  • History, memory, and counter-narratives
  • Digital anthropology and the ontology of ethnographic archives



  • Visions of Community: Comparative Approaches to Ethnicity, Region and Empire in Christianity, Islam and Buddhism (400-1600 CE) – VISCOM (https://viscom.ac.at/home/)

  • Global Eurasia (https://www.oeaw.ac.at/isa/forschung/translokale-themen/global-eurasia-comparison-and-connectivity)

Selected publications

Selected publications

  1. with Alexander Weissenburger: “Ḥūthīs (Houthis)”, in Farhad Daftary and Wilferd Madelung (eds.), Encyclopaedia Islamica, Boston/Leiden: Brill (forthcoming).
  2. Tribes in Modern Yemen: An Anthology, ed. Marieke Brandt, Vienna 2021: Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, doi: 10.1553/978OEAW86199.
  3. “Some Remarks on Blood Vengeance (thaʾr) in Contemporary Yemen”, in Marieke Brandt (ed.), Tribes in Modern Yemen: An Anthology, Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, pp. 63-78, doi: 10.1553/978OEAW86199.
  4. “A Tribe and Its States: Yemen’s 1972 Bayḥān Massacre Revisited”, Middle Eastern Studies, 55: 3, 2019, pp. 319-338, doi: 10.1080/00263206.2018.1540415.
  5. Tribes and Politics in Yemen: A History of the Houthi Conflict, London/New York 2017: Hurst/Oxford University Press, doi: 10.1093/oso/9780190673598.001.0001.
  6.  “The Global and the Local: Al-Qaeda and Yemen’s Tribes”, in Olivier Roy and Virginie Collombier (eds.), Tribes and Global Jihadism, London 2017: Hurst/Oxford University Press, pp. 105-130.
  7. “Delocalization of Fieldwork and (Re)Construction of Place: Doing Ethnography in Wartime Yemen”, International Journal of Middle East Studies (IJMES) 49/3, 2017, pp. 506-510, doi: 10.1017/S0020743817000368.
  8. “Heroic History, Disruptive Genealogy: Al-Ḥasan al-Hamdānī and the Historical Formation of the Shākir Tribe (Wāʾilah and Dahm) in al-Jawf, Yemen”, Medieval Worlds 3, 2016, pp. 116-145, doi: 10.1553/medievalworlds_no3_2016s116.
  9. “Inhabiting Tribal Structures: Leadership Hierarchies in Tribal Upper Yemen (Hamdān & Khawlān b. ʿĀmir)”, in Andre Gingrich and Siegfried Haas (eds.), Southwest Arabia across History: Essays to the Memory of Walter Dostal, pp. 91-116, Vienna 2014: Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, doi: 10.1553/0x00321746.
  10. “Sufyān’s ‘Hybrid’ War: Tribal Politics During the Ḥūthī Conflict”, Journal of Arabian Studies 3/1, 2013, pp. 120-138, doi: 10.1080/21534764.2013.802942.


Curriculum Vitae