Follow Us

Follow on Twitter    Follow on Facebook    YouTube Channel    Vimeo Channel    Tumblr    SoundCloud Channel    iPhone App    iPhone App

Asef Bayat


استذكار غرامشي

"ماذا سيكون رأي غرامشي حيال مآزقنا الحالية؟" تساءلَ رئيس بلدية مدينة كالياري الإيطالية اليساري الشاب ماسيمو زيدا ثم أجاب: "ربما سيفكّر بأن أمورنا تحسنت، لكننا نواجه أيضاً مشاكل كثيرة في سردينيا... ولهذا نحتاج إلى أن نتنظّم". بهذا التصريح أعلن رئيس البلدية الذي يرتدي الجينزالأزرق عام 2017 "عاماً لغرامشي" وافتتح مؤتمر "قرن من الثورات: مسارات غرامشية في العالم". وكان 27 نيسان لحظة مناسبة لتسليط الضوء من جديد على حياة وأعمال أنطونيو غرامشي ...

Keep Reading »

Reminiscing Gramsci

[Portrait of Antonio Gramsci at around thirty years of age from the early 1920s. Image by unknown via Wikimedia commons]

“What would Gramsci think of our current predicaments?” wondered the young leftist mayor of the Italian city of Cagliari, Massimo Zedda. “He would probably think that things have improved, but we also have many problems in Sardinia… That is why we need to organize.” With this proclamation, the blue-jeaned mayor declared 2017 the “Year of Gramsci,” and opened the conference “A Century of Revolutions: Gramscian Paths in the World.” It was a fitting moment to revisit the ...

Keep Reading »

Revolution and Despair

[28 November 2011, the Arabic graffiti reads:

Things in the Middle East usually appear far worse than they really are when looked at from the outside. But  on my recent visit to Egypt—as I talked and listened to people, watched local television, read daily papers and made observations—it became clear that revolutionaries were going through painful times. A deep disenchantment seemed to color the sentiments of many who once held high hopes for their remarkable revolution, but now have to face the vulgar triumphalism ...

Keep Reading »

New Texts Out Now: Asef Bayat, Post-Islamism: The Changing Faces of Political Islam

[Cover of Asef Bayat, editor,

Asef Bayat, editor, Post-Islamism: The Changing Faces of Political Islam. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Asef Bayat (AB): Well, for me the primary reason for producing this book was a realization that there was a major gap in the scholarship on Islamism. While so much has been written on political Islam—some of which remains solid scholarship—the mainstream perspectives tend to treat ...

Keep Reading »

Midwife for a Pregnant Egypt

[Anti-Morsi protest in downtown Cairo on 31 August 2012. Image by Gigi Ibrahim via Flickr]

On the face of it, 30 June was a "coup": the army intervened to remove an elected president, annul the constitution, and oversee an interim government to undertake new elections for president and parliament, and draft a new constitution. But what if this is what the majority of people in a country want? Is any military intervention of this sort necessarily illegitimate? How do we then read the supporting role of the army in Egypt’s 25 January Revolution or the ...

Keep Reading »

Paradoxes of Arab Refo-lutions

[Collage by Jadaliyya. Images from unknown source]

Serious concerns are expressed currently in Tunisia and Egypt about the sabotage of the defeated elites. Many in the revolutionary and pro-democracy circles speak of a creeping counter-revolution. This is not surprising. If revolutions are about intense struggle for a profound change, then any revolution should expect a counterrevolution of subtle or blatant forms. The French, Russian, Chinese, Iranian, and Nicaraguan revolutions all faced protracted civil or international ...

Keep Reading »

Egypt, and the Post-Islamist Middle East

[Image from unknown archive]

For years, western political elites and their local allies have charged the Arab peoples with political apathy and lethargy. The argument that Arabs are uninterested in seeking to wrest greater democratic freedoms from their authoritarian rulers always rested on shaky foundations. But now that millions of Egyptians, following the Tunisians’ example, have proved it wrong by mobilising against power, the sceptical ground has adjusted: toward the murmured fear that Egypt’s ...

Keep Reading »


Asef Bayat
Asef Bayat is Catherine and Bruce Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies and teaches sociology and Middle East studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is the co-editor of Being Young and Muslim (Oxford, 2010) and author of Life as Politics: How Ordinary People Change the Middle East (Stanford, 2013, second edition).