Asef Bayat (born 31 July 1954) is an Iranian who is the Catherine and Bruce Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies and Professor of Sociology and Middle Eastern studies at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was Professor of Sociology and Middle Eastern studies and held the Chair of Society and Culture of the Modern Middle East at Leiden University, The Netherlands. He was the Academic Director of the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM) and ISIM Chair of Islam and the Modern World at Leiden University from 2003 until 2009.
He has published widely on issues of political sociology, social movements, urban space and politics, the everyday of politics and religiosity, contemporary Islam, and the Muslim Middle East. He has conducted extensive studies on the Iranian Islamic Revolution, Islamist movements in comparative perspective since the 1970s, the non-movements of the urban poor, Muslim youth, and women, and on the politics of fun.
Asef Bayat was born in a small village located approximately sixty miles west of Tehran in Azeri family. Later, his family moved to the capital city, where his first experience of schooling was with an Islamic institution. He obtained a diploma in a state-run high school, which was located close to the Hosseiniyeh Ershad, where many of Ali Shariati’s followers were gathering. In his last years of high school, he attended Shariati’s popular lectures in the Hosseiniyeh Ershad. However, by this time, he had become an entirely secular teenager, moving into leftist campus politics that he maintained throughout his higher education in the United Kingdom.
Bayat has two children, Tara and Shiva.
After completing his B.A. in Politics from the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences in Tehran (1977), Asef Bayat received his Ph.D. in Social Sciences – Sociology and Politics from the University of Kent from 1978 to 1984. He held a Post Doctoral Research Fellowship at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of California at Berkeley (1985).
Since 1986, he taught Sociology at the American University in Cairo for some 17 years in the course of which he also held positions at the University of California at Berkeley, Columbia University, and was Fellow of St. Antony's College, Oxford University(2000-1).
He was Professor of Sociology and Middle Eastern Studies and holds the Chair of Society and Culture of the Modern Middle East at Leiden University, The Netherlands.
Currently, he is Professor of Sociology and of Middle East studies at University of Illinois.
Asef Bayat is fluent in English, Persian, Arabic, and Azeri.
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- Workers and Revolution in Iran. London: Zed Books, 1987.
- Work, Politics and Power. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1991.
- Street Politics: Poor Peoples Movements in Iran. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997.
- Ortadoğu'da Maduniyet: Toplumsal Hareketler ve Siyaset. [Subalternity in the Middle East: Social Movements and Politics. (In Turkish.) Six essays compiled and translated by Özgür Gökmen and Seçil Deren]. İstanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 2006.
- Making Islam Democratic: Social Movements and the Post-Islamist Turn. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007.
- Life as Politics: How Ordinary People Change the Middle East. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010.
- Being Young and Muslim: New Cultural Politics in the Global South and North. (co-edited with L. Herrera.) New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.
Major articles (English)
- Bayat, Asef (April 1990). "Shari'ati and Marx: A Critique of an "Islamic" Critique of Marxism". Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics. Cairo. 10: 19–41. JSTOR 521715. doi:10.2307/521715. Available online.
- Bayat, Asef (1992). "Work Ethics in Islam: A Comparison with Protestantism". The Islamic Quarterly. London. 36 (2): 5–27.
- Bayat, Asef (March 1997). "Un-Civil Society: The Politics of the 'Informal People'". Third World Quarterly. London: Taylor and Francis. 18 (1): 53–72. doi:10.1080/01436599715055. Pdf.
- Bayat, Asef (January 1998). "Revolution without Movement, Movement without Revolution: Comparing Islamist Activism in Iran and Egypt". Comparative Studies in Society and History. Cambridge Journals. 40 (1): 136–169. JSTOR 179392. doi:10.1017/S0010417598980057.
- Bayat, Asef (September 2000). "From 'Dangerous Classes' to 'Quiet Rebels': Politics of Urban Subaltern in the Global South". International Sociology. USA: Sage. 15 (3): 533–557. doi:10.1177/026858000015003005.
- Bayat, Asef (Winter 2001). "Studying Middle Eastern Societies: Imperatives and Modalities of Thinking Comparatively". Middle East Studies Association Bulletin. 35 (2): 151–158. JSTOR 23063462.
- Bayat, Asef (February 2002). "Activism and Social Development in the Middle East". International Journal of Middle East Studies. Cambridge Journals. 34 (1): 1–28.
- Bayat, Asef (September 2005). "Islamism and Social Movement Theory". Third World Quarterly. London: Taylor and Francis. 26 (6): 891–908. JSTOR 4017816. doi:10.1080/01436590500089240. Pdf.
- Bayat, Asef (November 2005). "Transforming the Arab World: The Arab Human Development Report and the Politics of Change". Development and Change, special issue: FORUM 2005. The Hague: Wiley. 36 (6): 1225–1237. doi:10.1111/j.0012-155X.2005.00461.x.
- Bayat, Asef (October 2007). "Islamism and the Politics of Fun". Public Culture. Duke University Press. 19 (3).
- Bayat, Asef (September 2007). "Radical Religion and the Habitus of the Dispossessed: Does Islamic Militancy Have an Urban Ecology?". International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. Wiley. 31 (3): 579–590. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2427.2007.00746.x.
- Bayat, Asef (2008). "Islamism and Empire: The Incongruous Nature of Islamist Anti-imperialism". Socialist Register. Monthly Review Press. 44. (London, Merlin Press, 2007.)
- Bayat, Asef (November–December 2010). "Tehran: Paradox City". New Left Review. New Left Review. II (66).
- ISIM website http://www.isim.nl
- Publications in ISIM Repository http://publications.isim.nl[permanent dead link]
- Interview Al-Ahram Weekly https://web.archive.org/web/20041212221109/http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2003/645/profile.htm
- http://newhumanist[permanent dead link]
- Bayat at the Leidse hoogleraren vanaf 1575 site