Mohammed Bamyeh, PhD

  • Professor

Having lived in 18 cities across 4 continents, in two civil wars, two revolutions, and witnessed refugee conditions, I have developed a living rather than theoretical appreciation for a global sociology, as well as for the complex dynamics of conflict and social transformation. I am interested in subaltern perspectives, and am averse to prepackaged models, especially those based exclusively on U.S. or European case studies, which while important constitute a small part of our global experience. My work generally employs comparative angles, even where it involves specific case studies. I prefer a mix of disciplinary outlooks, and I always ground my teaching and research in historical and cultural processes. I am interested in social movements and revolutions, the nature of conservatism, the sociology of religion, and anarchism and social life organized outside the state. I view all orthodoxies, including well-meaning ones, as obstacles to knowledge. The most interesting sociology for me is one that is multi-dimensional, one approached as a science, but equally as an art.

Education & Training

  • PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1990
  • MS, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1989
  • BA, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1984

Representative Publications

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

"The Two Anarchies: The Arab Uprisings and the Question of an Anarchist Sociology.” In Carl Levy and Saul Newman, eds., The Anarchist Imagination in Humanities and Social Sciences (Routledge, 2019).  

“Global Epistemology.” In Mark Juergensmeyer, Saskia Sassen, and Manfred Steger, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Global Studies (Oxford University Press, 2019).

Social Sciences in the Arab World: Forms of Presence (Arab Council for Social Sciences, 2015: in English, French, Arabic).

With Sari Hanafi, eds., Arab Uprisings. A special issue of International Sociology 30(4), 2015.

Anarchy as Order: The History and Future of Civic Humanity (Rowan & Littlefield, 2009).

“Anarchist Method, Liberal Intention, Authoritarian Lesson: The Arab Spring between Three Enlightenments.” Constellations 20:2 (2013).

Ed., Intellectuals and Civil Society in the Middle East (I. B. Tauris, 2012)

Of Death and Dominion: The Existential Foundations of Governance (Northwestern University Press, 2007. German translation: Tod und Herrschaft: Existentielle Grundlagen des Regierens, Turia, 2020)

Research Interests

  • Revolutions and social movements
  • Sociology of knowledge
  • Anarchism and civil society
  • Sociology of religion
  • Islamic studies
  • Culture