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About Asef Bayat

Asef Bayat is professor of sociology and middle-east studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His books include Making Islam Democratic: Social Movements and the Post-Islamist Turn (Stanford University Press, 2007); Life as Politics: How Ordinary People Change the Middle East (Stanford University Press, 2010); and (with Linda Herrera) Being Young and Muslim: Cultural Politics in the Global South and North (Oxford University Press, 2010)

Articles by Asef Bayat

This week’s front page editor


Adam Bychawski is an editorial assistant at openDemocracy.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Egypt, and the post-Islamist middle east

The portrayal of Egypt’s uprising in terms of its potential capture by Islamists is doubly misleading, says Asef Bayat: for this misses both the true character of the people’s movement and the transformation of the Arab world’s religious politics.

Iran: torch of fire, politics of fun

The doctrinal contempt of Islamist regimes for popular festivals such as the Iranian nowrooz (new year) extends to suspicion of every expression of spontaneous life. The result is to conjure the very rituals of resistance they fear, says Asef Bayat. 

Iran: a green wave for life and liberty

The Tehran regime has used brute power to deter the insurgent tide of post-election protest. But the form of state it has created to defend itself from the people guarantees further convulsion, says Asef Bayat.

Democracy and the Muslim world: the “post-Islamist” turn

An old argument over the compatibility of Islam and democracy is being transformed under the influence of new social and intellectual currents. The external advocates of democracy in the Muslim world should take note, says Asef Bayat.

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