University of Calgary

Dean Curran

  • Associate Professor

Currently Teaching

 W2025 - SOCI 333 - Contemporary Sociological Theory
 W2025 - SOCI 631 - Seminar in Sociological Theory
SEM 1MW 09:00 - 10:15
 W2025 - SOCI 731 - Doctoral Seminar in Sociological Theory
SEM 1MW 09:00 - 10:15

Current Research

My current research explores some of the interconnections between contemporary risk and inequality. By trying to develop frameworks that can understand the diverse impacts of environmental, financial and digital risk my research seeks to analyze the various ways in which changes in contemporary risk are affecting existing power relations. 

I also have more general research and teaching interests, including classical and contemporary social theory; the sociology of risk (including the work on Mary Douglas and Luhmann), environmental sociology, economic sociology, social theory and the law, and the sociology of the digital and of finance and have published and presented work on each of these different areas. 

Grants and Awards

  • The Risks of Interconnectedness: System-wide Risk in Finance and the Digital”, Principal Investigator, SSHRC Insight Grant, 2018–22, $92,215.
  • “Who are the Risk-Takers?”, Principal Investigator, (collaborators: A. Bauer and T. Bauer), SSHRC Insight Development Grant, 2015–17, $74,030.
  • University of Calgary T.E.A. - Honourable Mention Teaching Award, Faculty of Arts (2014-15)
  • SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, Lancaster University, UK, 2013-15 (ended July 2014 to start as Assistant Professor at University of Calgary), $81,000




Dean Curran (ed.) Handbook on Risk and Inequality. Cheltenham: Elgar

 Curran, Dean (2022) ‘Introduction’ in Dean Curran (ed.) Handbook on Risk and Inequality. Cheltenham: Elgar, pp. 1–15.

 Alan Smart and Curran, Dean (2022) ‘Prospects and Social Impact of Big Data–Driven Urban Governance in China: Provincializing Smart City Research’ in Weiping Wu and Qin Gao (eds.) China Urbanizing: Impacts and Transitions. University of Pennsylvania Press, pp. 205–227.

Curran, Dean (2022) ‘COVID-19, World Risk Society, and the Transformation of the State’ in P. Brown and J. Zinn (eds.) Covid-19 and the Sociology of Risk and Uncertainty. Palgrave, pp. 247–265.


Dean Curran and Alan Smart (2021) "Data-Driven Governance, Smart Urbanism and Risk-Class Inequalities: Security and Social Credit in China" Urban Studies.

Dean Curran Risk Mismatches and Inequalities: Oil and Gas and Elite Risk-Classes in the US and Canada.



Dean Curran (2020) "Connecting Risk: Systemic Risk from Finance to the Digital" Economy and Society.

Dean Curran and David Tyfield. (Forthcoming) "Low-Carbon Transition as Vehicle of New Inequalities? Risk-Class, The Chinese Middle Class and the Moral Economy of Misrecognition" Theory, Culture, and Society 37(2). 


Dean Curran. "From Performativity to Representation as Intervention: Re-thinking the 2008 Financial Crisis and the Recent History of Social Science". Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour (2018)

Dean Curran. "Risk, Innovation, and Democracy in the Digital Economy’". European Journal of Social Theory, (2018).

Dean Curran. "Risk Arbitrage and the Organized Irresponsibility Principle" Critical Criminology, (2018).

Dean Curran. "Environmental Justice meets Risk-Class: The Relational Distribution of Environmental Bads". Antipode 50(2) (2018): 298-318.

Dean Curran "Beck's Creative Challenge to Class Analysis: From the Rejection of Class to the Discovery of Risk-Class". Journal of Risk Research 21(1) (2018): 29-40.

Dean Curran. "Organized Irresponsibility, Corporations, and the Contradictions of Collective Agency and Individual Culpability" (eds.) S. Bittle, L. Snider, S. Tombs, and D. Whyte (2018) Revisiting Crimes of the Powerful. New York: Routledge.


Dean Curran. "The Treadmill of Production and the Positional Economy of Consumption". Canadian Review of Sociology 54(1) (2017): 28-47.

Dean Curran'Climate change, resilience, and the generation of risk-classes'  in B. Hutter (ed.) Risk, Resilience, Inequality and Environmental Law. Elgar. (2017).

Dean Curran'Le risque dans une société mondialisée'  France Forum, (janvier): 10-12. (2017).


Dean CurranRisk, Power, and Inequality in the 21st Century London: Palgrave Macmillan, (2016).

Dean Curran. "Risk Society and Marxism: Beyond Simple Antagonism". Journal of Classical Sociology 16.3 (2016): 280-96.

Dean Curran'Risk, Risk Society, Risk Behavior, and Social Problems'  in Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, 2nd edition. Wiley-Blackwell. (2016).


Dean Curran. "Risk illusion and organized irresponsibility in contemporary finance: rethinking class and risk society". Economy and Society 44.3 (2015): 392-417.


Dean Curran. "The Challenge of the Financial Crisis for Contemporary Sociology (Review Essay)". Sociology 48.5 (2014): 1048-54.


Dean Curran. "Risk Society and the Distribution of Bads: Theorizing Class in the Risk Society". British Journal of Sociology 64.1 (2013): 44-62.

Dean Curran. "What is a Critical Theory of the Risk Society? A Reply to Beck". British Journal of Sociology 64.1 (2013): 75-80.


Dean Curran"McWorld" in Blackwell Encyclopedia of Globalization. Wiley-Blackwell. (2012).


Powered by UNITIS. More features.