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Craig Calhoun

University Professor of Social Sciences
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 7805
Interim Director and University Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 7805
Senior Global Futures Scientist
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 7805
University Professor of Social Sciences
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 7805
University Professor of Social Sciences
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 7805
University Professor of Social Sciences
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 7805
University Professor of Social Sciences
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 7805
University Professor of Social Sciences
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 7805
University Professor of Social Sciences
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 7805


Craig Calhoun is University Professor of Social Sciences. He holds joint appointments in the School of Politics and Global Studies, the School of Public Affairs, the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, the School of Sustainability, the School of Arts, Media and Engineering and Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Prior to coming to Arizona State University, Calhoun served as director and president of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He was previously president of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), dean of the Graduate School and director of the University Center for International Studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), and founder and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University (NYU). In addition to UNC and NYU, he has been a professor at Columbia University and the University of Oslo and a visiting professor at several international universities.

Calhoun’s work at ASU focuses on strengthening the ability of the social sciences, working together with the natural sciences, engineering and humanities, to address the most complex challenges facing society today—from crises in democracy to the shifting nature of globalization and the future of place-based communities, the complicated social and ethical issues raised by new technologies, and the need for creativity, solidarity, and determination in order to achieve just and sustainable futures.

He is the author or coauthor of 9 books, editor of another 22, and has published more than 70 journal articles and 100 book chapters that address culture, social movements, education, communication, religion, nationalism, the impact of technology, capitalism and globalization, critical theory and philosophy, and contemporary and historical empirical research. His work has been widely reprinted in anthologies and translated into 21 languages.

Calhoun serves on the board of the Mastercard Foundation and co-chairs the board of the American Assembly. He has been elected a fellow of the British Academy, the American Association for Advancement of Science, and the American Philosophical Society, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, an Einstein Fellow by the City of Berlin, and president of the International Institute of Sociology. He has also served as president of the Berggruen Institute and holds honorary appointments as Centennial Professor at LSE and professor at the College d’Etudes Mondiales of the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme in Paris.

Calhoun received his D.Phil. from Oxford University, combining politics, sociology, and history. He has previous degrees in anthropology from Manchester, Columbia and University of Southern California.


D.Phil. Oxford University

Research Interests: 

Social science and related fields, culture, social movements, education, communication, religion, nationalism, the impact of technology, capitalism, globalization, critical theory, philosophy, contemporary and historical empirical research. 


Calhoun is currently completing two books: on the deterioration and renewal of social bases for democracy, and on the tension between cosmopolitanism and nationalism and other forms of more local solidarity. He is also in the earlier stages of projects on the politics of new technologies, the ways infrastructures shape society, and transformations of the university and related knowledge institutions. Among his publications are:

  • The Question of Class Struggle: Social Foundations of Popular Radicalism During the Industrial Revolution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, and Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1982.
  • "The Radicalism of Tradition: Community Strength or Venerable Disguise and Borrowed Language?"  American Journal of Sociology, vol. 88, #5, pp. 886-914, 1983.
  • "Industrialization and Social Radicalism: British and French Workers' Movements and the Mid-Nineteenth Century Crisis," Theory and Society, vol. 12, #4, pp. 485-504, 1983.
  • "Computer Technology, Large-Scale Social Integration and the Local Community," Urban Affairs Quarterly, vol. 22 #2, pp. 329-349, 1986.
  • "Populist Politics, Communications Media, and Large-Scale Social Integration," Sociological Theory, vol. 6 #2, pp. 219-241, 1988.
  • "Social Theory and the Law: Systems Theory, Normative Justification and Postmodernism," Northwestern University Law Review, vol. 83 #s 1-2, pp. 1701-1763, 1989.
  • "Indirect Relationships and Imagined Communities: Large Scale Social Integration and the Trans­formation of Everyday Life," in P. Bourdieu and J.S. Coleman, eds.:  Social Theory for a Changing Society.  Boulder, CO: Westview Press and New York: Russell Sage Foundation, pp. 95-120, 1991.
  • "The Infrastructure of Modernity: Indirect Relationships, Information Technology, and Social Integration," in H. Haferkamp and N.J. Smelser, eds.: Social Change and Modernity.  Berkeley:  University of California Press, pp. 205-236, 1992.
  • Habermas and the Public Sphere.  Cambridge, MA:  MIT Press, 1992 (edited)
  • "Nationalism and Ethnicity," Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 19: 211-39, 1993.
  • Neither Gods Nor Emperors: Students and the Struggle for Democracy in China.  Berkeley:  University of California Press, 1994. 
  • Social Theory and the Politics of Identity.  Oxford and Cambridge, MA:  Basil Blackwell (edited).
  • Critical Social Theory: Culture, History and the Challenge of Difference.  Ox­ford: Basil Blackwell, 1995.
  • Nationalism. Buckingham: Open University Press and Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997.
  • Hannah Arendt and the Meaning of Politics, with John McGowan. Minneapolis:  University of Minnesota Press, 1997 (edited)
  • “Community without Propinquity Revisited: Communications Technology and the Transformation of the Urban Public Sphere,” Sociological Inquiry, vol. 68 #3, pp. 373-397, 1998.
  • “Explanation in Historical Sociology: Narrative, General Theory, and Historically Specific Theory,” American Journal of Sociology, vol. 104 #3, pp. 846-71, 1998.
  • “Legacies of Radicalism: China’s Cultural Revolution and the Democracy Movement of 1989” (with Jeffrey Wasserstrom), Thesis 11, 57, pp. 33-52, 1999.
  • Understanding September 11: Perspectives from the Social Sciences (with Paul Price and Ashley Timmer). New York: New Press, 2002 (edited).
  • “Imagining Solidarity: Cosmopolitanism, Constitutional Patriotism and the Public Sphere,” Public Culture, vol. 14 #1, pp. 147-72, 2002.
  • “The Class Consciousness of Frequent Travelers: Toward a Critique of Actually Existing Cosmopolitanism,” South Atlantic Quarterly v. 101#4, pp. 869-97, 2003.
  • “A World of Emergencies: Fear, Intervention, and the Limits of Cosmopolitan Order,” The 35th Sorokin Lecture, Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, 41.4: 373-95, 2004.
  • “The University and the Public Good,” Thesis Eleven, 84, pp. 7-43, 2005.
  • Nations Matter: Citizenship, Solidarity, and the Cosmopolitan Dream. Abingdon, Oxford: Routledge, 2007.
  • Sociology in America: A History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007 (edited).
  • “Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism,” the Ernest Gellner Lecture for 2007, Nations and Nationalism. Vol. 14 #3: 427-449, 2008.
  • “Academic Freedom: Public Knowledge and the Structural Transformation of the University,” Social Research: An International Quarterly of the Social Sciences, 76 (2): 561-98, 2009.
  • “The Idea of Emergency: Humanitarian Action and Global (Dis)order, pp. 29-58 in Didier Fassin and Mariella Pandolfi, eds., Contemporary States of Emergency. The Politics of Military and Humanitarian Interventions (Cambridge, MA: Zone Books), 2010.
  • Knowledge Matters: The Public Mission of the Research University (with Diana Rhoten). New York: Columbia University Press, 2011 (edited).
  • Business as Usual; The Roots of the Global Financial Crisis (with Georgi Derlugian). New York: NYU Press, 2011 (edited).
  • The Deepening Crisis: Governance Challenges after Neoliberalism  (with Georgi Derlugian). New York: NYU Press, 2011 (edited).
  • Aftermath: A New Global Economic Order? (with Georgi Derlugian). New York: NYU Press, 2011 (edited).
  • Rethinking Secularism (with Mark Juergensmeyer and Jonathan VanAntwerpen). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011 (edited).
  • The Roots of Radicalism: Tradition, the Public Sphere, and Early 19th Century Social Movements. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012.
  • “For the Social History of the Present: Pierre Bourdieu as Historical Sociologist,” pp. 36-66 in P.S. Gorski, ed.: Bourdieu and Historical Analysis (Durham, NC: Duke University Press), 2012.
  • “The Problematic Public: Revisiting Dewey, Arendt, and Habermas,” in The Tanner Lectures on Human Values, vol. 32, 2013: 67-107.
  • Habermas and Religion (with Eduardo Mendieta and Jonathan VanAntwerpen). Cambridge: Polity, 2013 (edited).
  • Does Capitalism Have a Future? (with Immanuel Wallerstein, Randall Collins, Michael Mann, and Georgi Derluguian). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
  • “Integrating the Social Sciences: Area Studies, Quantitative Methods, and Problem-Oriented Research,” in R. Frodeman and B. Holbrook, eds., Oxford Handbook of Interdisciplinarity, 2nd Ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 2017.
  • “Populism, Nationalism, and Brexit,” pp. 57-76 in W. Outhwaite, ed.: Brexit: Sociological Responses. London: Anthem Press, 2017.
  • “Religious Imaginations and Global Transformations,” pp. 1-18 in J. Walters, ed.: Religion and Global Affairs. London: Routledge, 2018.
Fall 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
POS 494Special Topics
POS 498Pro-Seminar
SOS 592Research
POS 598Special Topics
HSD 598Special Topics
Fall 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
SOS 592Research
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
HON 394Special Topics
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
SOS 592Research
HSD 598Special Topics
HPS 598Special Topics

Craig Calhoun currently works informally with a number of students and will begin teaching formal classes at ASU in the 2019-20 academic year. He was previously honored for his teaching at UNC, NYU, and Columbia. He has also supervised the PhDs of 40 students now on the faculties of Amsterdam, Brown, CEU, Columbia, LSE, New Mexico, Northwestern, UCLA, Washington and other universities.    

Honors / Awards: 
  • Sigillum Magnum, University of Bologna, 2019
  • Fellow, British Academy 2015 
  • Fellow, Academy of Social Sciences (UK) 2014
  • Fellow, American Philosophical Society 2012
  • Einstein Fellow, City of Berlin, Germany 2010
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science 2008
  • Fellow, Council for Foreign Relations 2005
  • Fellow, Chinese Academy for Social Sciendes 2000
  • Honorary doctorate, Erasmus University, Rotterdam 2013
  • Honorary doctorate, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia 2005
  • Professor of the Year, Columbia University, Department of Sociology 2006
  • Teacher of the Year, NYU Department of Sociology 2005
  • Two ‘best book’ prizes from the American Sociological Association
  • Editor, University of California Press book series, "Great Transformations," 2018-present.
  • Editor, Sociological Theory, 1994-99
  • Editor, Comparative Social Research, 1988-1993
Professional Associations: 


  • American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2006- ;
  • American Sociologi­cal Association, 1974-
  • British Sociological Association, 1976-86, 2012- 
  • International Sociological As­sociation, 1982- 
  • New York Institute for the Humanities, 2001- 
  • Sociological Research Association, 1994-


  • American Anthropological Association, 1971-2012
  • American Historical Association, 1994-2012
  • Association of International Education Ad­ministrators, 1990-96
  • International Studies Association, 1990-97
  • Royal Anthropological Institute, 1972-2006
  • So­cial Science History Association, 1978-2012

Board member: 

  • Mastercard Foundation, 2014- present 
  • American Assembly, 2011- present 
  • Center for Transcultural Studies, 2010-present 
  • Foundation Maison Sciences de l’Homme, 2013-17 
  • New School for Social Research, 2009-12
  • Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, 2002-8 
  • Foundation Bourdieu, 2002-8

Member of the Council of St. Paul’s Institute, 2015-present 

Many offices in professional associations, including American Sociological Association, International Institute of Sociology, Social Science History Association, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Member of many academic and scientific advisory boards, task forces, visiting committees, appointments commissions, and prize juries.