Was the Arab Spring a Failure? Notes from Movements and Non-Movements on the Ground

07 Apr 2022


Announced by the University of Pittsburgh

Did the Arab Spring fail? By political standards, analysts would argue that the movements that began in the Middle East in late 2010 onward failed to bring about the democratic changes the protesters involved hoped for. Dictatorships still prevail, and widespread social inequality remains the norm. Profs. Allam and Bayat, however, argue that although the revolutions failed to bring about substantive political and regime change, several important societal changes took place, and the fights for social justice continue on the ground.

Asef Bayat is an Iranian-American scholar. He is currently the Catherine and Bruce Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies and Professor of Sociology and Middle Eastern studies at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was previously 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 served as Academic Director of the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM) and ISIM Chair of Islam and the Modern World at Leiden University (2003- 2009). Bayat has published widely on issues of political sociology, social movements, urban space and politics, the everyday of politics and religiosity, contemporary Islam, and the Muslim Middle East. He has conducted extensive studies on the Iranian Islamic Revolution, Islamist movements in comparative perspective since the 1970s, the non-movements of the urban poor, Muslim youth, and women, the politics of fun, and the Arab Spring.

Nermin Allam is an Assistant Professor of Politics at Rutgers University-Newark. Allam holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in International Relations and Comparative Politics from the University of Alberta, Canada. Her areas of research interest include: Social movements; gender politics; Middle Eastern and North African studies; and political Islam. Allam’s research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research

Event Date: 
Thursday, April 7, 2022 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Sponsored By: 
University of Pennsylvania Middle East Center