This article presents an overview of Yemeni society before proceeding to a detailed account of research undertaken by the author into the factors behind the rise of Islamic extremism in Yemen and its appeal, especially among the young and most deprived sectors of society. The author draws on and relates his findings to a number of theoretical works, including those of authorities such as Max Weber as well as more recent analysts, in a discussion of what drives extremist group formation and what attracts their adherents, in general terms and in Yemen in particular. The findings of a survey of public opinion in Yemen conducted by the author are recounted in some detail.

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