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In Life as Politics, Asef Bayat argues that such presumptions fail to recognize the routine, yet important, ways in which ordinary people make meaningful change. Asef Bayat is the Catherine & Bruce Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies, and Professor of Sociology and Middle East at the. Asef Bayat talks about revolutions and revolutionary ideas, the place of ordinary people in social transformation, and what we can learn from.

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The Nicaraguan revolution had an intellectual component informed by democratic socialism aseff the vision of Sandino. Women in Tahrir Square. What are the benefits of post-ideological movements?

Dr. Asef Bayat

I think some kind of ideas might emerge in the process, but really those have to be backed up and supported by deep thinking and rigorous analysis. Setting the uprisings side by side with baya revolutions of the s, particularly the Iranian Revolution, Bayat reveals a profound global shift in the nature of protest: If it is not in the mainstream, the extraordinary activists can easily be identified, shunned, separated as anti-social deviants and agitators and thus suppressed.

However, by this time, he had become an entirely secular teenager, moving into leftist campus politics that zsef maintained throughout his higher education in the United Kingdom. Bayat’s description of the order of events in the period before the Arab Spring demonstrates how a plethora of small-scale incidents of protest gave birth to the spirit of rebellion.

The activists of the Arab Spring separated in some way the realm of the polity from the realm of the economy, as if they were two separate spheres.

We should treat it as an unfinished project that may have openings for the future. There were also very powerful anti-imperialist movements, like in Cuba, which a lot of these political groups in the developing countries upheld.


August pages. Asef Bayat was born in a small village located approximately sixty miles west of Tehran in an Azeri family.

Asef Bayat

The key thing to ased able to explain the differences is that they happened in different ideological times. As I argue in the book, neoliberalism has the effect of both creating dissent among the ordinary people, because it generates deprivation, exclusion and inequalities; but it also has had the effect of de-radicalizing the political class, meaning that it presents itself as a way of life for which there is no alternative.

In contrast to the ideological times of the s, the Arab Spring came to fruition in some kind of post-ideological interval; this was the aftermath of when the anti-communist revolutions in Eastern Europe were to mark the very end of oppositional ideology per se. Meeting the first women legally allowed to stand. The aesf wave that swept the Middle East in was marked by spectacular mobilization, spreading within aswf between countries with extraordinary speed. But going even further, not only can we think about how to tackle the question of power, but also how to tackle the question of property, in our movements.

Revolutionary moments are, rather, nested in the ordinary nature of our lives. This page was last edited on 16 Juneat Pick of the web. It is an accessible and engaging read, one that will benefit activists as well as social movement scholars.

Dr. Asef Bayat | Sociology at Illinois

Asef Bayat is an Iranian-American scholar. In the Egyptian case, Tahrir square became a global space, it became a model for other movements that emerged in other places later on in some 5, cities around the world.

All one can say here is that when a revolutionary movement comes to fruition, having ideas about how power works, how to deal with it, how to alter it, and how to institute new power relations towards a more just, egalitarian and inclusive order, do matter.


Picture by Mosa’ab Elshamy, By tracing the contours and illuminating the meaning of the uprisings, Bayat gives us the book needed to explain and understand our post—Arab Spring world. A good scholarly contribution.

The idea, the ideal and the memory of Revolution need to be maintained. He has conducted extensive studies on the Iranian Islamic RevolutionIslamist movements in comparative perspective since the s, the non-movements of the urban poor, Muslim youth, and women, the politics of fun, and the Arab Spring.

I suppose this apparent paradox and contradiction in some way reflects the contradiction of reality in these times. Sections openDemocracy Free thinking for the world. Bayat is not the first scholar to aesf this issue, the field of Middle East studies having offered up its share of autopsies, but his lucid and readable account does provide the most plausible explanation.

Life as Politics: How Ordinary People Change the Middle East, Second Edition | Asef Bayat

The second edition includes three new chapters on the Arab Spring and Iran’s Green Movement and is fully updated to reflect recent events. Bayat is the recipient of prestigious fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Ford and MacArthur foundations. It was an exceptional moment in the long process of revolution, which happens in most of the great revolutionary transformations, when there emerge practices that navigate between the real and the unreal, between reality asrf utopia.