Guest post from Lene Nyhus

On behalf of the Cheryl Frank Memorial Prize Committee 2020 I have the pleasure of announcing the following:

About the Prize: The Cheryl Frank Memorial Prize is awarded annually for a book or article that constitutes, motivates or exemplifies the best and/or most innovative writing in or about the tradition of critical realism, in the previous year. The winner is invited to give the annual Cheryl Frank Memorial Lecture at the IACR Annual Conference or some other suitable venue. If the Author wishes, the lecture will be considered for publication in Journal of Critical Realism.

This year’s Cheryl Frank Committee consisted of David Elder-Vass, Monica Kjorstad and Jamie Morgan (who chaired the Committee). The Committee unanimously agreed that the 2020 prize be awarded to:

Tony Lawson, The Nature of Social Reality London: Routledge (2019)

Three other books were nominated and short-listed: 

Andrea Maccarini Deep Change and Emergent Structures in Global Society Springer (2019)

David Pilgrim, Critical Realism for Psychologists London: Routledge (2019)

Berth Danermark, Mats Ekstrom, Liselotte Jakobsen, Jan Karlsson Explaining Society: An introduction to critical realism in the social sciences London: Routledge (2019) new ed.

The Committee felt that of the four books Lawson’s The Nature of Social Reality best fulfilled the criteria of new ‘innovative’ work in the realist tradition. The consensus was that his ‘social positioning theory’ constituted an original substantive contribution to realist social theory, and that the book also contained essays which the judges felt were liable to cause a reader to think differently on primary subjects of interest in the social sciences (emergence, the nature of the corporation, money and so forth).

All three of the other nominated and short-listed books were considered worthy of commendation. Andrea Maccarini’s Deep Change provides an innovative application of morpthogenetic theory to the pressing issue of macrosocial transition; David Pilgrim’s Critical Realism for Psychologists offers the first sustained treatment of critical realist theory for psychologists, covering a wide range of key issues in the field; the new edition of Berth Danermark et al.’s Explaining Society, meanwhile, is an update of a classic introductory realist text that has for many years been an invaluable resource for students in the social sciences.

Thanks to those who nominated works and thanks to the judges for their time and expertise.

See our earlier post for a review of Lawson’s winning book by Yannick Slade-Caffarel: http://criticalrealismnetwork.org/2020/06/04/the-nature-of-social-reality-issues-in-social-ontology-review/