Dr. Asef Bayat

Section 1


Professor of Sociology
Professor of LAS Global Studies
Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
European Union Center
Center for Global Studies
Professor of Center for African Studies

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Contact Information

  • Address: Department of Sociology
    University of Illinois
    3086 Lincoln Hall
    702 S. Wright Street
    Urbana, IL 61801
  • Telephone: (217) 333-1490
  • Email:

  • Visit Website


Asef Bayat is 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.  

Specializations / Research Interest(s)

  • Political Sociology, Social Movements and Social Change; Religion, Society and politics; 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



  • 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 a. 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.

Book Contributions

  • "Marginality: Curse or Cure?." Marginality and Exclusion in Egypt. . Ed. Ray Bush and Habib Ayeb. London: Zed Books, 2012.

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):
  • "Experiences of an Indigenous Intellectual." Mehr-Naameh (2013):
  • "Revolution in Bad Times." New Left Review (2013):
  • "Politics in the City Inside-Out." City and Society 24.2 (2012): 110-128.

Magazine Articles

  • "Interview: Urban Subalterns and the Non-Movements of the Arab Uprisings." Jadaliyya. 26 Mar. 2013.
  • "Midwife for a Pregnant Egypt." al-Ahram online. 11 Jul. 2013.

Encyclopedia Entries

  • "Islamic Movements." Encyclopedia of Social and Political Movements. New York: Blackwell, 2012.