Dr. Asef Bayat

Dr. Asef Bayat

Contact Information

Department of Sociology
University of Illinois
3086 Lincoln Hall
702 S. Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801
Director of Graduate Studies, Professor
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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

  • Political Sociology; Social Movements and Social Change; Religion and Public Life; Urban Life and Politics; Islam and Modernity; Contemporary Middle East.

Research Description

My current research concerns an understanding of the Arab revolutions-- historically, comparatively, and sociologically. In particular I am interested in exploring the place of popular classes in these revolutions. I like to narrate the story of these (notably the Tunisian and Egyptian) revolutions from the perspective of subaltern classes.


  • Ph.D, Universoty of Kent (UK)

Distinctions / Awards

  • Elected as Chair of Islam in the Modern World, University of Leiden; Inaugural Agha Khan Chair of Islamic Humanities at Brown University; Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies, University of Illinois; Named as Ford Foundation Fellow, MacArthur Fellow, Open Society Fellow, Guggenheim Fellow, Wissenschaftskolleg Fellow, Berlin.


  • Global Religion and Politics; Megacities of Global South; Collective Action and Revolution; Social Movements; Middle Eastern Societies and Cultures

Selected Publications


Revolution without Revolutionaries: Making Sense of the Arab Spring Stanford University Press 2017.
Life as Politics: How Ordinary People Change the Middle East 2nd edition Stanford University Press 2013.
Post-Islamism: The Changing Faces of Political Islam Oxford University Press 2013.
Linda Herrera (eds.), Asef Bayat and Being Young and Muslim: New Cultural Politics in the Global South and North Oxford University Press 2010.
Making Islam Democratic: Social Movements and the Post-Islamist Turn Stanford University Press 2007.
Middle East and Its Subaltern: Politics and Movements Istanbul Iletisim 2006.
1998 Cairo at a Turning Point (in Arabic) Cairo University 1998.
Street Politics: Poor Peoples Movements in Iran Columbia University Press 1997.
Work, Politics and Power Monthly Review Press 1991.
Workers and Revolution in Iran Zed Books 1987.

Magazine Articles

The Fire That Fueled the Iran Protests Tha Atlantic 2017. Article.
Remising Gramsci Mada Masr 2017. Article.

Journal Articles

Arab Spring and Its Surprises Development and Change 44 2 2013.
Areas and Ideas Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 33 3 2013.
Egypt and the Limits of Refo-lution Global Dialogue 4 5 2013.
Is There a Youth Politics? Middle East Topics and Arguments Fall 9 2017. Article.
Revolution in Bad Times New Left Review 80 2013.
Politics in the City Inside-Out City and Society 24 2 2012, p. 110-128.

Encyclopedia Entries

Islamic Movements Encyclopedia of Social and Political Movements New York Blackwell 2012.

Book Contributions

Marginality: Curse or Cure? Marginality and Exclusion in Egypt edited by Ray Bush, edited by Habib Ayeb. Marginality: Curse or Cure? Edited by Ray Bush, Edited by Habib Ayeb, London Zed Books 2012.