Professor Craig Calhoun FBA

Social theory, historical sociology, and political economy

Elected 2015

Headshot of Craig Calhoun
Fellow type
UK Fellow
Year elected

Social movements, shifting conditions for democracy and the relation of the local community to larger-scale solidarities have been at the centre of Craig Calhoun’s research. He has explored these themes in historical studies of England, France, and the US, in more contemporary projects in China, Ghana, and the Horn of Africa and in broader comparative-historical and theoretical enquiries. Originally a social anthropologist, Calhoun also engages in history, sociology, political economy, political theory, and philosophy. His work explores possibilities for collective action and choices about human development and social institutions in the face of cultural inheritance and material and social structures. This has led to studies of social movements, democracy, nations and nationalism, the politics of identity and belonging, the future of capitalism, the shaping role of technological infrastructures, and the public sphere. Calhoun has also served as Director of the LSE, President of the Social Science Research Council and published analyses of the transformation of universities and knowledge institutions.

Current post

Arizona State University University Professor of Social Sciences

London School of Economics and Political Science Centennial Professor

Past appointments

Berggruen Institute President

2016 - 2018

London School of Economics and Political Science Director

2012 - 2016

Columbia University Professor

2006 - 2007

Social Science Research Council President

1999 - 2012

New York University University Professor

1996 - 2012

University of North Carolina Professor

1989 - 1996

Top picks

In Pursuit of Post-National Politics


Craig Calhoun interviewed by Noema magazine on how to build governance institutions in the age of planetary problems.

Interview with Professor Craig Calhoun


An interview with Craig Calhoun after he delivered the Campaign for Social Science Annual SAGE Lecture in 2014.

The Power of Imagination


Craig Calhoun explains the phenomenon of the social imaginary.

Conversations with History


Craig Calhoun discusses the challenges confronting social science research.

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