Martha Mundy

From Observatory

Martha Mundy
Anthropologist. Researcher

Martha Mundy is a professor emerita of anthropology at the London School of Economics.

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Martha Mundy is a professor emerita of anthropology at the London School of Economics (LSE). She began her research career in northern Yemen (1973-77), then taught in Jordan, Lebanon, France, the United States, and the United Kingdom. In 2011-12, she returned to Yemen to work with agronomists on agrarian transformation. Since the start of the war in 2015, she has examined the impact of policy and war on Yemen’s rural society and food systems, including authoring the report “The Strategies of the Coalition in the Yemen War” (World Peace Foundation, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, 2018).

Prof. Mundy is a specialist in the anthropology of the Arab World whose research has concerned anthropology of law and the state, the comparative sociology of agrarian systems, and the anthropology of kinship and family. Her first major fieldwork was conducted from 1973-77 in North Yemen. Before joining the LSE in 1996 she taught at UCLA, Lyon 2 Lumière University, the American University of Beirut, and Yarmouk University in Jordan.

During her ten years in Jordan (1982-92) she began a project of historical anthropology examining the transformation of political and economic relations in late Ottoman Southern Syria, present north Jordan. This combined work on law, on the state, and on village society and involved archival work in Istanbul and Damascus as well as research into oral history and administrative records in Jordan. Since her retirement in 2012, she has continued work on agrarian history and the contemporary crisis of agriculture in the Arab East.

Eurasia Review | November 2023

It is no joke; the man who presided over the climate summit COP28 (which took place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), from November 30 to December 12), is the chief oil executive of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the third largest oil company in the Arabian Peninsula: Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, who also is the United Arab Emirates Minister for Industry and Advanced Technology.

Organizations and lawmakers, including a group of 133 U.S. senators and European Union lawmakers concerned with environmental damage, climate change, and human rights advocates, have denounced the conflict of interest inherent in having the head of an oil company preside over the major international climate change summit that aims to reduce fossil fuel emissions. Meanwhile, in 2022, ADNOC announced plans for new drilling, which, if realized, would represent the second-largest expansion of oil and gas production globally.

Publications by this author
World Peace Foundation | October 2018

This report gives an overview not available elsewhere of the impact of the Coalition bombing campaign on food production and distribution in rural Yemen and on fishing along the Red Sea coast. The timing of its release was opportune as press coverage of this forgotten war had increased; there was some diplomatic and political movement; and the report on human rights violations during the Yemen war, prepared under the aegis of the Group of Eminent Experts, had been submitted to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Warnings of the risk of mass starvation echoed ever more shrilly.

It is high time for citizens, parliamentarians and civil organizations to do all they can to end this years-long conflict. On September 6, 2018, a new UN-appointed mediator had announced discussions between two major Yemeni parties in the war (the internationally recognized Government of Yemen led by Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, based between al-Riyadh and Aden, and the “Salvation/Rescue Government” of Ansarallah and allies based in Sanʿaʾ, internationally designated as “the Houthi rebels” or “the de-facto power”). Following this announcement, the talks were postponed in the wake of a failure to provide certain safe passage for the delegation from Sanʿaʾ.


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