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Life as Politics: How Ordinary People Change the Middle East

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  111 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
In the popular imagination, the Muslim Middle East is frozen in its own traditions and history—a land of mosques and minarets, veiled women, despotic regimes, and desert sand. But this assumption fails to recognize that social and political change comes in many guises. In this eye-opening book, Asef Bayat reveals how under the shadow of the authoritarian rule, religious mo ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 21st 2009 by Stanford University Press
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Nancy Burns
Aug 29, 2016 Nancy Burns rated it it was amazing
Found this book on reading list Middle East Studies University of Leiden.
It is an excellent introduction to way ordinary people can instigate change.
'Passive networks' of migrants (street politics), women (defying dress codes), youth (fashion/hairstyle)
The 'every day resistance' that can wear down dictatorships and create a better life.

My review:
Samin Rb
Nov 09, 2016 Samin Rb rated it really liked it
Reviewed the book for a course, an excerpt:

It is worth saying that Life as Politics should be seen as the continuation of Bayat’s previous books Street Politics: Poor People's Movements in Iran (1997) and Making Islam Democratic (2007). The theoretical framework of the three is pretty much the same. The idea of the quiet encroachment of the ordinary was detailed comprehensively in 1997 as the backbone of Street Politics. Similarly, the “politics of presence” is the theme that Bayat developed th
Jun 22, 2010 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I reviewed this book for the Fall 2010 issue of The Review of Faith & International Affairs -- my first real book review! An excerpt:

"The author argues for a hopeful vision of change in the Middle East, one that recognizes the role of social nonmovements in effecting change under authoritarian regimes—change that would not be possible using traditional activism and/or revolutionary tactics. Nonmovements effect change through action instead of ideology; practice in place of protest; ordinary
Sep 29, 2016 Brian added it
i want read this book for reference
Oct 04, 2013 Ali rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Asef Bayat is one of, if not the most concise, eloquent, and dynamic socio-political commentators of our time. He was in Tahrir Square during the majority of the uprisings and I highly regard all of his published works.
I give this a 3 and a half only because I read it after I read "Making Islam Democratic" by the same author, and whole parts of this are directly taken from that work, so it became repetitive. If I hadn't read that other one first, the rating would be more like a 4 or 4.5.
Jan 06, 2013 Ashton rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in current affairs in the Middle East
Effectively explains the current social and political situation in the Middle East (such as the causes of the Arab Spring, and the true significance of the rise of Islamism). Solid, current social/cultural history of the region.
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(Ph.D. University of Kent 1984) is Professor of Sociology and Middle Eastern studies at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was Professor of Sociology and Middle Eastern studies and held the Chair of Society and Culture of the Modern Middle East at Leiden University, The Netherlands. He was the Academic Director of the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World ( ...more
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