Alain Touraine

Alain Touraine is a leading French sociologist and social theorist who has produced ground-breaking work on social movements and ‘action theory’. He is a director of research at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, where he founded the Centre d'Étude des Mouvements Sociaux. He has interweaved concrete studies of social movements, including the student protests of 1968 and Solidarity in Poland, with a series of ambitious attempts to comprehend social action, in both collective and personal terms, within what he has termed ‘post-industrial society’. In particular, he has shown how the interaction between structural mechanisms and social struggles shapes societies’ future trajectories and collective self-understandings. His later work has considered the cultural dynamics of globalization and the Financial Crisis from his unique theoretical perspective. These themes are at the forefront of his multiple books with Polity, which include Can We Live Together?, Thinking Differently and After the Crisis.