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Asef Bayat

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Contact Information

Department of Sociology
University of Illinois
3086 Lincoln Hall
702 S. Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801
Catherine & Bruce Bastian Professor, Professor


Asef Bayat is Professor of Sociology, and the Catherine and Bruce Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies at the Department of Sociology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Before joining Illinois, Bayat taught at the American University in Cairo for many years, and served as the director of the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM) holding the Chair of Society and Culture of the Modern Middle East at Leiden University, The Netherlands. In the meantime, he had visiting positions at the Universality of California, Berkeley, Colombia University, Oxford, and Brown.

Research Interests

Areas and Approaches: Political Sociology; Collective Behavior and Social Movements; Sociology of Religion; Community and Urban Sociology; Global and Transnational Sociology; Comparative and Historical Sociology.

Focus: Social Movements and Social-Political Change; Religion and Public Life; Urban Life and Politics; Islam and Modernity; Contemporary Middle East.

Research Description

My recent research has focused on the understanding of the Arab revolutions-- historically, comparatively, and sociologically. In particular I have explored the place of popular classes in these revolutions. My latest book has tried to narrate the story of these (notably the Tunisian and Egyptian) revolutions from the perspective of subaltern classes. These studies offer the possibility of articulating a new meaning of revolution.


PhD, University of Kent, UK

Awards and Honors

Named as: Guggenheim Fellow, Ford Foundation Fellow, MacArthur Fellow, Open Society Fellow, Wissenschaftskolleg Fellow, Berlin.

Elected as Chair of Islam in the Modern World, University of Leiden, The Netherlands.

Elected to the Board of the UN Research Institute for Social Development, Geneva.

Elected as the Inaugural Agha Khan Chair of Islamic Humanities at Brown University.

Elected as Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies, University of Illinois.

Courses Taught

Soc. 563--Global Social Movements

Soc. 564--Global Religion and Politics

Soc. 565--Megacities of Global South

Soc. 470--Social Movements

Soc. 471--Collective Action and Revolution

Soc. 483--Middle Eastern Societies and Cultures

Soc. 396--Topics in Sociology- Religion and Society

Additional Campus Affiliations

Professor, Sociology
Catherine C. and Bruce A. Bastian Professor, Sociology
Professor, Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory
Professor, European Union Center
Professor, Center for African Studies
Professor, Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Highlighted Publications


Bayat, A. Revolutionary Life: The Everyday of the Arab Spring, Harvard University Press, 2021

Bayat, A. Global Middle East: Into the 21st Century, ed. with Linda Herrera, University of California Press, 2021

Bayat, A. Revolution without Revolutionaries: Making Sense of the Arab Spring, Stanford University Press, 2017 (also in Arabic and Persian).

Bayat, A. Post-Islamism: The Changing Faces of Political Islam, ed. Oxford University Press, 2013 (also in Arabic, Turkish and Persian)

Bayat, A. Life as Politics: How Ordinary People Change the Middle East, Stanford University Press, 2013, 2nd edition (also in Arabic, Turkish, Persian, German, and Swedish editions).

Bayat, A. Being Young and Muslim: New Cultural Politics in the Global South and North, ed. with Linda Herrera, Oxford University Press, 2010.

Bayat, A. Making Islam Democratic: Social Movements and the Post-Islamist Turn, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007 (also in Turkish, Indonesian Bahasa).

Bayat, A. Middle East and Its Subaltern: Politics and Movements, Istanbul, Iletisim Yayinlari, 2006 (in Turkish).

Bayat, A. Street Politics: Poor Peoples Movements in Iran, New York: Columbia University Press, 1997 (also in Turkish and Persian editions).

Bayat, A. Work, Politics and Power, New York: Monthly Review Press, 1991.

Bayat, A. Workers and Revolution in Iran, London: Zed Books, 1987 (also in Persian edition).



Recent Publications

Bayat, A., "Is Iran on the Verge of another Revolution?", Journal of Democracy, vol. 34, no. 2, April 2023.

Bayat, A., "Is There a Youth Politics?", in Sarah Rennick, ed., Reassesing Activism and Engagement among Arab Youth, London Transnational Press, 2022.