University of Pittsburgh

Faculty & Staff


Mohammed A. Bamyeh

PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1990

Title: Professor

Campus Address: 2423 Wesley W. Posvar Hall

Telephone: (412) 648-7591


Fields of Interest

  • Islam
  • revolutions and social movements
  • social and political theory
  • globalization
  • culture


Among my students I try to encourage sensitivity to global nuances rather than the impulsive application of models, as well as orient them to cultivate something along the lines of a comparative social theory. This, in my view, emerges in its best form out of a broad and deep exposure to cultural and social histories. For me, this orientation has generated research and teaching interests in cultural and political globalization, Islamic studies, culture and revolution, civil society, and comparative social theory. My current research projects build on earlier work: my earlier interest in global processes has metamorphosed into comparative explorations of civil society and non-state centered political life, whereas my interest in religion and secularism in modernity has evolved into a comparative interest in the dynamics of conservative thought and the role of ideas of tradition.

Current Research

Islam and Society: Social Movements, Global Structures, Social Critique (ASA’s Rose Series/Russell Sage Foundation)  
The Arab Spring: A Sociological Perspective  
Conservatism: A Theory of Tradition

Recent Publications

Anarchy as Order: The History and Future of Civic Humanity (Rowan & Littlefield, 2010) Palestine America (editor: a special issue of South Atlantic Quarterly, Duke University Press, Fall 2003)
Of Death and Dominion: The Existential Foundations of Governance (Northwestern University Press, 2007) Drugs in Motion: Mind and Body Altering Substances in the World’s Cultural Economy (co-edited with Brett Neilson: A special issue of Cultural Critique, University of Minnesota Press, issue no. 71, 2009)
The Ends of Globalization (University of Minnesota Press, 2000) Intellectuals and Civil Society in the Middle East (editor: Tauris, 2012) 
The Social Origins of Islam: Mind, Economy, Discourse (University of Minnesota Press, 1999. Winner of the Middle East Studies Association’s Albert Hourani Book Award Honorable Mention, 1999)


Graduate: Globalization: Culture and Power; Cultural Sociology; Contemporary Sociological Theory; Civil Society and the Public Sphere in the Arab World; Anarchy and Civil Society; Introduction to the Study of the Arab World; Cultural Globalization and the Arab World Undergraduate: Orientalism and Beyond; Sociology of Islam; Global Society; Histories and Logics of Globalization; Global Excursions; Sociology of Religion; Economy and Culture; Social Movements; Modern Islam; Society and State in Islam; Modernity and Tradition; Contemporary Arab Society; Advanced Social Theory; Images of Power; Ideologies of Governance; Political Sociology; Justice, Revenge and Defeat  

Honors and Awards

Fellow, National Endowment for the Humanities/American Research Center in Egypt, 2010-11
Affiliated Fellow, Europe in the Middle East Program. Berlin, Germany, 2010-11
2nd best special issue award for "Palestine America," edited for "South Atlantic Quarterly." Council of Editors of Learned Journals, 2003    
Honorable Mention for "The Social Origins of Islam," Middle East Studies Association Albert Hourani’s Book Award, 1999    

University Affiliations

Global Studies Religious Studies