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Krishan Kumar

William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Sociology, University Professor
Curriculum Vitae (186.16 KB)

Research Interests: Social and Political Thought, Global History, Empires and Colonies, Nations and Nationalism, East-West comparisons.

Krishan Kumar is a University Professor, as well as William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia. He was previously Professor of Social and Political Thought at the University of Kent at Canterbury, England.

He received his undergraduate education at the University of Cambridge and his postgraduate education at the London School of Economics.

Mr. Kumar has at various times been a Talks Producer at the BBC, a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University, and has held Visiting Professorships at Bristol University, the University of Colorado at Boulder, the Central European University, Prague, the University of Bergen, Norway, and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris. He has also been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.

Among his publications are Prophecy and Progress: The Sociology of Industrial and Post-Industrial Society; Utopia and Anti-Utopia in Modern Times; The Rise of Modern Society; From Post-Industrial to Post-Modern Society; 1989: Revolutionary Ideas and Ideals; The Making of English National Identity; Visions of Empire: How Five Imperial Regimes Shaped the World”; and Empires: A Historical and Political Sociology.

Mr. Kumar's current interests focus on empires and imperial peoples. Related interest include nationalism and national identity, Europe, global history, and problems of historical sociology.

Selected Publications


Krishan Kumar (Ed.)
Revolution: The Theory and Practice of a European Idea
London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1971, pp. 330.

Prophecy and Progress: The Sociology of Industrial and Post-Industrial
London, Allen Lane: The Penguin Press, 1978; Harmondsworth, Penguin Books, 1978, pp. 416 (Japanese translation, Bunshindo Publishers, 1996).

(Ed. with Adrian Ellis)
Dilemmas of Liberal Democracies: Studies in Fred Hirsch's Social Limits to Growth
London, Tavistock Publications, 1983, pp 212.

Utopia and Anti-Utopia in Modern Times
Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1987, pp. 506, (Italian translation, Long Editore, 1995).

The Rise of Modern Society: Aspects of the Social and Political Development of the West
Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1988, pp. 338, (A collection of some of my previously published articles).

Buckingham, Open University Press, 1991; Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1991, pp. 136, (Japanese translation, Showado, 1994; Romanian translation, Editura du Style, Bucharest 1998).

(Ed., with Stephen Bann)
Utopias and the Millennium
London, Reaktion Books, 1993, pp. 164.

(Ed., with Jeff Weintraub)
Public and Private in Thought and Practice
Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1997, pp. 380.

1989: Revolutionary Ideas and Ideals
University of Minnesota Press, 2001.

The Making of English National Identity
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

From Post-Industrial to Post-Modern Society: New Theories of the Contemporary World
Wiley-Blackwell, 2004.

The Idea of Englishness
Ashgate, 2015

Visions of Empire: How Five Imperial Regimes Shaped The World
Princeton University Press, 2017

Empires: A Historical and Political Sociology
Polity Press, 2020


“English and French national identity: comparisons and contrasts.” Nations and Nationalism 12(3):413-432. (2006)

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