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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It seemed that what the protagonists wanted was to have these autocrats like Mubarak, Ben Ali or Saleh removed.

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 and utopia.

This is a very interesting question. This was different from the previous revolutions where the revolutionaries would form a provisional government, an alternative organ of power, with some kind of hard power that they would use together with their street power to force the incumbent regime to abdicate. View the discussion thread. Maybe there is more potential for meaningful change. In other words, revolutionary movements can happen and did happen even if the political class, the activists for instance, may not have thought and imagined the asec.

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

Asef Bayat – Wikipedia

On the other hand, however, precisely because of this the forces of counter-revolution would have better chance to engage in acts of sabotage and to regroup to restore old order.

Of course, there are those who may argue that a vision might emerge in the process spontaneously; but it may or may not. In this book, noted author Asef Bayat—whose Life as Politics anticipated the Arab Spring—uncovers why this occurred, and what made these uprisings so distinct from those that came before.

We now have a legacy of Tahrir and should think about how it is possible to extend that political moment beyond that space and time of Tahrir. What Happened to the Arab Spring?


Review Journal for the Study of Culture “Brilliant He is the author of Life as Politics: And it was for this reason that when what happened in Sidi Bouzid and later on in Tahrir Square, 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?

Do you think that meaningful change is possible in our current world order, dominated by post-modern and post-ideological thought? Critical voices in critical times: Of course, they had the street power, the popular will, and that is important. The revolutions of the s obviously were happening at the time when the Cold War was at its height, so the world was divided between the Soviet Union and its allies, the socialist world, on one hand, and then the capitalist world on the other.

We had a revolutionary movement that came to compel the existing state to reform itself on behalf of the revolution.

Armas de fuego y uso de la fuerza letal en Argentina. If you look at what happened in the Arab revolutions, this duality was apparent. After completing his B. How can the idea of Tahrir work in different settings? 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.

Review Journal for the Study of Culture.

Several years on, however, it has caused limited shifts in structures of power, leaving much of the old political and social order intact. Furthermore, there is an honesty and vulnerability that I have rarely seen so openly in academics’ works that makes Bayat’s latest all the more relatable.

Barely a year later, as events of the Arab Spring continue to unfold, his critical insights on everyday forms and spaces of political activity in the region have become prescient.

Bayat, an Iran-born, US-based sociologist from a working-class gayat who has a deep observational capacity to see and remember things as they unfolded in his own bzyat first village – and then in the working-class Tehran neighbourhood where he grew up A good scholarly contribution.


In addition to ongoing protests, millions of people across the Middle East are effecting transformation through the discovery and creation of new social spaces within which to make their claims heard. 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.

Here the hope is that the regimes would be forced to concede. Above all, this work establishes Asef Bayat as a virtuoso of the sociological imaginary.

Bayat has also contributed byat social movement theory with his concepts of “quiet encroachment,” “social non-movements,” and the “politics of presence.

But then ideology also, for that very reason, has the danger of dogma, and the danger of making the ideology so unquestionable that it could be repressive as well. At heart, the book remains a study of agency in times of constraint.

Dr. Asef Bayat

How did they propose to implement social justice, or was it based on lip service, something that came out of a reaction to the terrible inequalities and deprivations that the economic neoliberalism has unleashed on the ordinary people?

Protestors call for reform rather than fundamental transformation. Views Read Edit View history. You have talked about revolution in terms of state power. It is important now to reflect back on the Tahrir Moment, and it is very significant to document and think about it, and take it as an historical, political and even moral resource, to deploy in thinking about an alternative future.

He further refined the concept in collection with scholars of political Islam throughout the Muslim world titled, Post-Islamism: 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.

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