Mohammed A Bamyeh, PhD


2423 Wesley W. Posvar Hall


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.

Fields of Interest

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


  • PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1990

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

Anarchy as Order: The History and Future of Civic Humanity (Rowan & Littlefield, 2010)

Of Death and Dominion: The Existential Foundations of Governance (Northwestern University Press, 2007)

The Ends of Globalization (University of Minnesota Press, 2000)

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)

Palestine America (editor: a special issue of South Atlantic Quarterly, Duke University Press, Fall 2003)

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)

Intellectuals and Civil Society in the Middle East (editor: Tauris, 2012)

Social Sciences in the Arab World: Forms of Presence. (Arab Council for Social Sciences, 2015: Arabic, English, French) This work can be uploaded for free:

Lifeworlds of Islam: The Pragmatics of a Religion (Oxford University Press, 2019).

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  

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