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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Such presence of the masses in the public square would, in addition, demonstrate the strength of the movement and of the opposition both to themselves and to the opponents.

Asef Bayat

What difference do you see between the revolutions of the s and before, such as in Iran, Guatemala and Cuba, and the Arab Spring? I have spoken of their role during the uprisings; ordinary people still gave a big role just after the regime change; because they often radicalize the revolutions by their very grassroots practices in factories, farms, neighborhoods, or in their unions.

You have talked about revolution in terms of state power. Bayat, an Iran-born, US-based sociologist from a working-class background who has a deep observational capacity to see aasef remember bahat as they unfolded in his own – first village – and then in the bauat Tehran neighbourhood where he grew up Subscribe to our mailing list.

I suppose this apparent paradox and contradiction in some way reflects the contradiction of reality in these times.

On the one hand, they are by nature pluralistic because the power is not monopolized by the revolutionary take-over of the state—many institutions of civil society including those associated with assf old regime remain active.

The idea, the ideal and the memory of Revolution need to be maintained. But I think this cannot be achieved, unless those who do want change seriously address the overpowering ideology and practices and institutions of neoliberalism.

Dr. Asef Bayat

This page was last edited on 16 Juneat Critical voices in bbayat times: We had a revolutionary movement that came to compel the existing state to reform itself on behalf of the revolution. At heart, the book remains a study of agency in times of constraint. 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 bagat alter it, and how to institute new power relations towards a more just, egalitarian and inclusive order, do matter.


Armas de fuego y uso de la fuerza letal en Argentina. That is the challenge.

Her work deals with the politics of education, critical democracy, media, and youth policy and movements in North Africa and West Asia. With permission from the author. We now have a legacy of Tahrir and should think assf how it is possible to extend that political moment beyond that space and time of Tahrir.

They key issues raised by the Arab political class seemed to be with government accountability, democracy, and human rights. Here the hope is that the regimes would be forced to concede. Bayat has published widely on issues of political sociology, social movementsurban space and politicsthe everyday of politics and religiosity, contemporary Islamand the Muslim Middle East. In what ways did the absence of revolutionary avant-garde thinkers such as TrotskyGuevaraFanon, or the Islamic socialist ideologue of the Iranian revolution, Ali Shariati, affect the process and the outcome of the Arab uprisings?

In Revolution without Revolutionarieshe deftly and sympathetically employs his own observations of Iran, immediately before and after the revolution, to reflect on awef epochal shifts that have re-worked the political regimes, economic structures, and revolutionary imaginaries across the region today.

Bayat is the recipient of prestigious fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Ford and MacArthur foundations. On the one hand, the process of the Arab revolutions was by far more open, more participative, and less repressive than the earlier revolutions that had a unified organization bahat leadership. After completing his B. Once you do this, you tend to play the same games, deploy aeef same concepts in your opposition. 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.

Neoliberalism has become an ideology and it is a very powerful one, and it has these two aspects that I have mentioned: It was as aser the world had gone beyond to sense the relevance of revolutions. The Nicaraguan revolution had an intellectual component informed by democratic socialism and the vision of Sandino.

Sincehe 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 BerkeleyColumbia Universityand was Fellow of St. The Arab revolutions happened at the time when the very idea baayt revolution had dissipated. Protestors call for reform rather than fundamental transformation. So, yes, ordinary people do play a crucial role in revolutionary struggles.

But I think that while Tahrir was so spectacular, so inspiring, it was also exceptional, transitory. But most power holders continue to rely on ideology. View the discussion thread.


Revolution without Revolutionaries: Making Sense of the Arab Spring | Asef Bayat

If you look at what happened in the Arab revolutions, this duality was apparent. Picture by Mosa’ab Elshamy, I also wondered if there was an attempt to explore how to sustain the Tahrir moment, or whether it was just an ephemeral, passing moment, in the long process of revolutionary mobilization. But revolution in terms of change, and in terms of having a vision about change, and about how to rest power from the incumbents, that to me was quite lacking. Watch the video by Linda Herrera.

In fact, the first sentence in the book starts with this: His attention to the lives of the urban poor, his extensive field work in very different countries within the region, and his ability to see over the horizon of current paradigms make his work essential reading.

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.

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. Do you think that meaningful change is possible bayah our current world order, dominated by post-modern and post-ideological thought?

Dr. Asef Bayat | Sociology at Illinois

This brings me to the idea of revolution. The key thing to be able to explain the differences is that they happened in different ideological times. So, I would not be depressed, despite the fact that the political condition right now is really depressing, and this is the hayat globally.

And it was for this reason that when what happened in Sidi Bouzid and later on in Tahrir Bayzt, the revolutionaries and activists had to improvise; they had to come to terms with what they had never expected– what to do with this crowd and what will happen the day after?

Even if they were forced to concede, a new order would require prior exploration, analyses, imagination, and not to mention organization.