This chapter explores the problematic of research on tribes and political parties in Yemen. Specifically, the focus is on the interplay between these two organizational forms—one traditional, one more modern, both political. I demonstrate that the intersections between tribes and parties (e.g. allegiances, alliances, and patronage) in Yemen in effect contribute to the divisiveness of that country’s politics. This instability has resulted in a failure to translate electoral processes and outcomes into democratization in the country. Moreover, since the 2011 popular uprising, the tribal-party dynamic remains in play. It is relevant to understanding the regionally mediated exit of Ali Abdallah Saleh in 2012, as well as his comeback in 2017 after the Houthi invasion. I conclude with some reflections on the ethics of researching tribal politics with respect to insider-outsider access, confidentiality, and representativeness of data collection.