Jeffrey C. Alexander is a towering figure in contemporary sociology whose ideas on power, performance and trauma have transformed our understanding of politics and culture. He is currently Lillian Chavenson Saden Professor of Sociology at Yale University, having previously spent over twenty years at UCLA. After important early writings on Talcott Parsons and social theory, in the 1980s he began to develop an original new approach in cultural sociology, inspired by his reading of late Durkheim, which became known as ‘the strong program in cultural sociology’. Since then, he has produced a series of startlingly original works examining subjects ranging from social performance and politics to the civil sphere, cementing his reputation as one of the world’s leading cultural sociologists. He has published a series of influential books with Polity, including most recently The Drama of Social Life and What Makes a Social Crisis?.