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Winner: Cheryl Frank Memorial Prize 2023

The Cheryl Frank Memorial Prize is awarded annually for a book that constitutes, motivates or exemplifies the best and/or most innovative writing in or about the tradition of critical realism, published in the previous year (2021). 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 the Journal of Critical Realism.

This year’s Cheryl Frank Prize Committee consisted of Karin Zotzmann (Chair), Kevin Schilbrack and Urs Lindner.


The Committee met on July 18th and following discussion unanimously agreed that the prize for a book published in 2022 be awarded to:


Dave Elder-Vass (2022). Inventing Value: The Social Construction of Monetary Worth. Cambridge: CUP


Elder-Vass’s book critically examines the nature of financial assets. The book argues that both mainstream and Marxist theories misunderstand the nature of value which is socially constructed by powerful value brokers and norm circles. Discourse, narratives, and beliefs, combined with social structures, are thus essential to the valuation of financial assets. This is an innovative perspective on the financial sector, skillfully and knowledgeably crafted from a critical realist perspective. The book also stands out for its clarity of argument, the breadth and depth of interdisciplinary knowledge and its engaging style.


The committee was also very impressed by the outstanding quality of the other submissions for the award:


  • Grant Banfield and Alpesh Maisuria (Eds) (2022). Working with Critical Realism. Stories of methodological encounters. London: Routledge.

  • Steve Ash (2022). Explaining Morality: Critical Realism and moral questions. London: Routledge.

  • Julia Molinari (2022). What Makes Writing Academic? Rethinking theory for practice. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

  • Rich Moth (2022): Understanding Mental Distress: Knowledge, practice and neoliberal reform in community mental health services. Bristol: Bristol University Press.


Kind regards

Karin Zotzmann (on behalf of the committee)

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