Revolutionary life: The everyday of the Arab Spring

Guest Speaker: Asef Bayat (Ph.D. in Social Sciences - Sociology and Politics, The Catherine and Bruce Bastian, Professor of Global and Transnational Studies, University of Ilinois)

MARCH 11th, 2023


This presentation will examine the Arab revolutions and their shortcomings in achieving democratic reforms at the state level. The speaker will discuss the positive societal changes that arose as a result of these movements, specifically among grassroots and subaltern groups, including women, the poor, and marginalized youth. The presentation will argue that these struggles have intrinsic value and can serve as a foundation for building radical democratic principles from the ground up. The speaker will provide examples of how these movements have contributed to a shift in power dynamics and challenged existing hierarchies, paving the way for a more democratic and equitable society. Through this analysis, the audience will gain insight into the complexities of democratic reform in the context of Arab revolutions, and the role that grassroots movements play in shaping a more democratic future.

Suggested reading before the meeting

Speaker’s Biography

Asef Bayat is a Professor of Sociology, and the Catherine and Bruce Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies at the Department of Sociology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Before joining Illinois, Dr. Bayat taught at the American University in Cairo for many years, and served as the director of the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM) holding the Chair of Society and Culture of the Modern Middle East at Leiden University, The Netherlands. In the meantime, he had visiting positions at the Universality of California, Berkeley, Colombia University, Oxford, and Brown. He is also an Associate Member of the Berlin Institute for Empirical Research on Integration and Migration (BIM), Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany.)