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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Asef Bayat was born in a small village located approximately sixty miles west of Tehran in an Azeri family. He is the author of Making Islam Democratic: Probably they were envisioning a more representative government, and rule of law.

We encourage anyone to comment, please consult the oD commenting guidelines if you have any questions. Setting the uprisings side by side with the revolutions of the s, particularly the Iranian Gayat, Bayat reveals a profound global shift in the nature of protest: He inventively redirects the anticipated source of political imaginaries from vanguards to ordinary people.

Neoliberalism has become an ideology and it is a very powerful one, and it has these two aspects that I have mentioned: In other words, the question was how bagat wrest bauat from the incumbent bayst, with what means and resources? They even marketize revolutions. 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.

It is an accessible and engaging read, one that will benefit activists as well as social movement scholars.

I am not very convinced about that. Those were revolutions in terms of those spectacular mobilizations, those extraordinary protests. This groundbreaking book is not an obituary for the Arab Spring but a hopeful glimpse at its future.

Later, his family moved to the capital city, where his first experience of schooling was with an Islamic institution. This tendency goes as far back as the anti-Milosevic uprisings in Serbia, when some ideas developed to make revolution chic, trendy or sexy. Then, you had a third world which Iran and Nicaragua were part of. This eye-opening book makes an important contribution to global debates over the meaning of social movements and the dynamics of social change.


Asef Bayat

Aser from Chapter 1. But the question was — how is it possible to institutionalize Tahrir, in the sense of sustaining it in the relations and institutions of society, in the normal, non-exceptional, post-revolution times? Having or not having an idea about the revolution has critical implications to the outcome when the revolution actually happens.

You have talked about revolution in terms of state power. 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.

Asef Bayat – Wikipedia

Post-ideological might mean that opposition to power may not adhere to a particular ideology. 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 revolution. Once you do this, you tend to play the same games, deploy the same concepts in your opposition. Specialist and non-specialist readers alike will find themselves transported to the streets of the Middle East and afforded a first-hand view of social and political activism in the making.

In general, the participation of ordinary people can very much secure the protagonists and the protest actions by making them as if they were the preoccupation of everyone, by bringing them to the social mainstream.

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. Bayat is not the first scholar to tackle 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.

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. Pick of the web. So, I would not be depressed, despite the fact that the baat condition right now is really depressing, and this is the case globally.

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.

Review Journal for the Study of Culture “Brilliant I want to emphasize a key difference here: Of course, we should not be simply waiting for the baayat to come, but rather, we should make that alternative future possible. Bayat is the recipient of prestigious fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Ford and MacArthur foundations.


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

It is very important to critique and subvert that, and highlight its principles and its very repressive and un-egalitarian consequences. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. In the end, revolutions cannot succeed without leaders who have spent decades in oppositional politics honing their ideology and sharpening their strategy.

Kraidy, Current History “One of the most significant and lasting achievements of the Arab revolutions, as Bayat points out, is the ‘change in consciousness’ marked by the brutal interruption on the political scene of both conservative and liberal ideas in debates as impassioned as they were unprecedented. More in Middle East Studies. Asef Bayat is an Iranian-American scholar.

Dr. Asef Bayat

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. 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.

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. 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?

So, yes, ordinary people do play a crucial role in revolutionary struggles. What difference do you see between the revolutions of the s and before, such as in Iran, Guatemala and Cuba, and the Arab Spring?

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