Asef Bayat

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Personal profile

Personal profile

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.


Professional Information

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)

Honors & 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

Office Address

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

Office Phone


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