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Refreshing the critical realism network website

The site was originally created by the impressive Human Flourishing and Critical Realism project (and the subsequent Beyond Positivism project), based in the Sociology Department of Yale University and funded by the Templeton Foundation. The project developed a strong network of scholars interested in critical realism, centred around sociologists in the US but also extending into other disciplines and regions, running a number of important conferences and workshops for both established scholars and research students (documented in the history (link) section of the site). It also developed this website into the most important repository of resources on critical realism on the web.

Unfortunately, when the project’s funding ran out in 2018, so did the resources to continue maintaining the web site, and in early 2020 it was agreed that the Centre for Critical Realism would take over administration of the site. The CCR has been running since 1996 and in recent years has acted primarily as the editorial board for the Critical Realism book series published by Routledge. As a result it has access to willing volunteers and a long term governance structure. As part of the arrangement, Phil Gorski and Tim Rutzou from the original project joined the CCR Board, providing some continuity in the governance process. Dave Elder-Vass and Mark Carrigan took on the lead roles in maintaining the site.

Prior to relaunching the site more publicly in June 2020, we refreshed the site we had inherited from the Yale project. We shifted the balance of the site away from the project itself, retaining information about the project in the History section, and towards (a) the excellent resources it makes available and (b) current news and developments in the global critical realist community. The home page has been slimmed down and now directs visitors towards:

  • the blog, featuring news and announcements alongside the more theory-oriented material on the original Yale blog
  • the library page, with its structure reading list for newcomers to critical realism
  • the library of videos of webinars, conducted by the Yale project, which we continue to enhance with further video resources delivered through our YouTube channel
  • a new map page, with links to the critical realist community worldwide

Our objective is to make the site an information hub both for those who are new to critical realism and for the existing critical realist community, but we have limited resources at our disposal and we need your help! Please tell us about announcements, events, blog posts, publications  and anything else you would like to circulate to the CR community. E-mail with an attachment which contains the announcement, preferably in a form that is ready to publish on the blog. The website has a substantial following across the website itself, the mailing list, YouTube channel and Twitter account.

If you are involved in a local group we would also like to feature your group on the community page – or even if you are prepared to act as an individual contact point for critical realists in your area. Please provide us with a short description, a web link (if you have one) and a point of contact.