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Degenerations of Democracy book cover

Degenerations of Democracy

with Charles Taylor and Dilip Gaonkar. (2022) Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Available May 17, 2022.


Does Capitalism Have a Future, 2013 book by Craig Calhoun with Immanuel Wallerstein, Randall Collins, Michael Mann, and Georgi Derluguian.

Does Capitalism Have a Future?

with Immanuel Wallerstein, Randall Collins, Michael Mann, and Georgi Derluguian. (2013) Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.

In Does Capitalism Have a Future?, a global quintet of distinguished scholars cut their way through to the question of whether our capitalist system can survive in the medium run. Despite the current gloom, conventional wisdom still assumes that there is no real alternative to capitalism. The authors argue that this generalization is a mistaken outgrowth of the optimistic nineteenth-century claim that human history ascends through stages to an enlightened equilibrium of liberal capitalism. All major historical systems have broken down in the end, and in the modern epoch several cataclysmic events-notably the French revolution, World War I, and the collapse of the Soviet bloc-came to pass when contemporary political elites failed to calculate the consequences of the processes they presumed to govern. At present, none of our governing elites and very few intellectuals can fathom a systemic collapse in the coming decades. While the book's contributors arrive at different conclusions, they are in constant dialogue with one another, and they construct a relatively seamless-if open-ended-whole.


The Roots of Radicalism, a 2012 book by Craig Calhoun.

The Roots of Radicalism: Tradition, the Public Sphere, and Early 19th Century Social Movements

(2012) Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

“This collection of Craig Calhoun's essays brings us back to essentials: what do we mean by the terms “class” and “radicalism,” and how do these concepts help us to understand the social movements and conflicts of early industrial society? … Among his other accomplishments, Calhoun illustrates how difficult it is to draw a line between the “traditional” protests of the early nineteenth century and the “modern” class protests envisioned by most social historians.” — James R. Barrett, American Historical Review.


Nations Matter (2007)

Nations Matter: Culture, History, and the Cosmopolitan Dream

(2007) Routledge.

From the publisher — Craig Calhoun, one of the most respected social scientists in the world, re-examines nationalism in light of post-1989 enthusiasm for globalization and the new anxieties of the twenty-first century. Nations Matter argues that pursuing a purely postnational politics is premature at best and possibly dangerous. Calhoun argues that, rather than wishing nationalism away, it is important to transform it. One key is to distinguish the ideology of nationalism as fixed and inherited identity from the development of public projects that continually remake the terms of national integration. Standard concepts like "civic" vs. "ethnic" nationalism can get in the way unless they are critically re-examined — as an important chapter in this book does.


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(1997) Open University Press and University of Minnesota Press.

From the publisher: Nationalism is one of the most pressing of global problems, exacerbating ethnic conflicts and increasing the likelihood of war. It is also basic to defining the rights of democratic citizenship, and can be a source of inspiration and social solidarity. In this fascinating overview, Craig Calhoun considers nationalism's diverse manifestations, its history, and its relationship to imperialism and colonialism


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Critical Social Theory: Culture, History and the Challenge of Difference

(1995) Basil Blackwell.

From the publisher: In this outstanding reinterpretation — and extension — of the Critical Theory tradition, Craig Calhoun surveys the origins, fortunes and prospects of this most influential of theoretical approaches. Moving with ease from the early Frankfurt School to Habermas, to contemporary debates over postmodernism, feminism and nationalism, Calhoun breathes new life into Critical Social Theory, showing how it can learn from the past and contribute to the future.


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Neither Gods Nor Emperors: Students and the Struggle for Democracy in China

(1994) University of California Press.

From Colina MacDougall, Times Literary Supplement: "Calhoun's analysis of the whos and the whys of the Tiananmen protest is excellent."

From the publisher: Prize for Best Recent Book in Political Sociology, The American Sociological Association.


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(1989; 7th ed., 1996) McGraw-Hill Companies.

From the publisher: This impressive, forward thinking research based survey focuses on five key concepts to explain sociological principles: function, structure, action, culture, and power. These concepts enable the text to present structural sociology and culture more fully than in any other book. The seventh edition continues to combine a balanced presentation with lively, student-oriented examples. This edition has been significantly revised, it features increased coverage of the founders of sociology, a greater emphasis on the structure of social interaction, and it introduces exciting and new "Sociology and Public Debates" and "Research Methods" boxes that students will find both evocative and engaging.