Justin Cruickshank’s research interests concern the development of post-positivist theorising in social and political theory. Specific topics engaged with include concept formation, the justification strategies of different meta-theories and the role of normative commitments in theorising.
He was a Visiting Scholar at the Department for the History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge in 2008 and was invited to give a presentation at a conference on Popper and objective knowledge in the social sciences at the European University Institute in 2009. Justin’s research began with adapting the critical realist tradition by emphasising the need for conceptual development in empirical research with this being applied to empirical research into unemployment. He subsequently moved away from critical realism, taking more of an interest in debates about fallibilistic models of science, pragmatism and Popper’s philosophy. He has published a monograph with Routledge, an edited book with Routledge, journal articles in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences, the Sociological Review, Health, Res Publica and the Journal of Critical Realism, together with review articles in Sociology and the Journal of Critical Realism, and a variety of chapters in edited collections
Cruickshank, J. 2014. Anti-Authority: Comparing Popper And Rorty On The Dialogic Development Of Beliefs And Practices’, Social Epistemology: A Journal Of Knowledge, Culture And Policy. First published online in May 2013. DOI:10.1080/02691728.2013.782589.
Cruickshank, J. 2013. Entry for ‘Epistemology’, Oxford Online Bibliography in Sociology. Oxford University Press. [Peer reviewed; 12,500 words.]
Cruickshank, J. 2013. Review of: I. A. Reed ‘Interpretation And Social Knowledge: On The Use Of Theory In The Human Sciences’, Cultural Sociology 3 (1): 104-105.
Cruickshank, J. 2012. ‘Positioning Positivism, Social Constructionism And Critical Realism In The Health Sciences: A Philosophical Orientation’, Nursing Inquiry: Interdisciplinary Perspectives On Policy And Healthcare 19 (1): 71-82 (special issue on critical realism). First published online in July 2011. DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1800.2011.00558.x.
Cruickshank, J. 2011. ‘The Positive And The Negative:Assessing Critical Realism And Social Constructionism As Post-Positivist Approaches To Empirical Research In The Social Sciences’, Paper 42, International Migration Institute Working Paper Series, Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford. Available online at:
Cruickshank, J. 2010. ‘Knowing Social Reality: A Critique Of Bhaskar And Archer’s Attempt To Derive A Social Ontology From Lay Knowledge’, Philosophy Of The Social Sciences 40 (4) 579-602. First published online in July 2009. DOI: 10.1177/0048393109340664.
Cruickshank, J. 2010. ‘Structures, Agents And Criticism: Assessing Bhaskar’s Fact-To-Value And Value-To-Fact Arguments’, Politics 30 (3): 168-173. First published online in Sept. 2010. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9256.2010.01380.
Cruickshank, J. 2010. ‘The Importance Of Nominal Problems’ in C. Valentini (ed) On Objective Knowledge In The Social Sciences And Humanities: Karl Popper And Beyond’. European University Institute Working Papers in the Max Weber Programme (2010/37). ISSN 1830-7728. PP. 61-71. Also available online at:
Cruickshank, J. 2008. ‘Some Realistic Considerations On The Death Of Philosophy’, Journal of Critical Realism 7 (2): 314-329.
[A review article dealing with: G. Calder ‘Rorty’s Politics Of Redescription’.]
Cruickshank, J. 2007. ‘The Usefulness Of Fallibilism: A Popperian Critique Of Critical Realism’, Philosophy Of The Social Sciences 37 (3): 263–288.
Clark, A.M., Macintrye, P. D., and Cruickshank, J. 2007. ‘A Critical Realist Approach To Understanding And Evaluating Heart Health Programmes’, Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal For The Social Study Of Heath, Illness And Medicine 11 (4): 513-539.
Cruickshank, J. 2007. ‘Seeking The TowerOf Babel’, Sociology 41 (4): 741-748.
[A review article dealing with: P. Baert ‘Philosophy Of The Social Sciences’; B. Berberoglu ‘An Introduction To Classical And Contemporary Social Theory’; S. Clarke ‘From Enlightenment To Risk’ And G. Delanty ‘Social Science’.]
Cruickshank, J. 2007. Entry for ‘Essentialism’ in M. Hartwig (ed.) A Dictionary Of Critical Realism.London: Routledge. PP.180-181.