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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Research Output

Revolution without Revolutionaries: Making Sense of the Arab Spring

Bayat, A., Aug 2017, Redwood City, CA: Stanford University Press. 312 p. (Stanford Studies in Middle Eastern and Islamic Societies and Cultures)

Research output: Book/ReportBook

  • Foreword

    Bayat, A., Feb 15 2016, Understanding Southern Social Movements. Fadaee, S. (ed.). Taylor and Francis Inc., p. xxii-xxiv

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript

    Plebeians of the Arab spring

    Bayat, A., Jan 1 2015, In : Current Anthropology. 56, S11, p. S33-S43

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Areas and Ideas

    Bayat, A., Dec 1 2013, In : Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. 33, 3, p. 260-263 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Egypt and Its Unsettled Islamism

    Bayat, A., Jun 25 2013, Post-Islamism: The Changing Faces of Political Islam. Bayat, A. (ed.). Oxford University Press, p. 185-228

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter