Keynote speakers

in the order presented in the programme


Leigh PriceLeigh Price is a SARChI Senior Research Associate of the Environmental Learning and Research Centre, Rhodes University. She is also a General Editor of the Journal of Critical Realism. Her most recent book, co-authored with Roy Bhaskar and Berth Danermark, is entitled: “Interdisciplinarity and Wellbeing”. Leigh began her academic career as an ecologist interested in the human/nature interface. After gaining her PhD in education, she worked extensively in southern Africa as a consultant in environmental (and occasionally HIV) education. Most recently, she carried out a critical discourse analysis of the discourses associated with the term ‘resilience’ in the context of environmental management in the Limpopo Valley. As well as the environment, Leigh is interested in interdisciplinarity and social justice. In terms of the latter, she has publications that address questions of gender inequality and the value of indigenous knowledge.




Berth Danermark, Ph.D. is Professor emeritus of Sociology at Örebro University, Sweden. Co-founder of The
Swedish Institute for Disability Research. Within the field of disability research and Sociology of Health he focuses primarily on issues related to hearing and communication from a biopsychosocial perspective. In collaboration with Roy Bhaskar he has developed an interdisciplinary approach that interweaves a medical, behavioral and social dimensions. Danermark has also worked on issues related to inter-professional collaboration.





Lena Gunnarsson is researcher and teacher at the Department of Gender Studies, Lund University, Sweden. In various works she has drawn on critical realism to intervene in key philosophical debates in feminist theory. Much of her research has been devoted to theorizing the relationships between love, power and gender within contemporary patriarchy and her book The Contradictions of Love was awarded the 2013 Cheryl Frank Memorial Prize. Currently, Lena is involved in an interview study on sexual consent, which focuses on the grey-areas between consensual and non-consensual sex and seeks to lift the issue of consent out of its common heteronormative framework.




Alan Norrie is a critical realist, legal theorist and criminal lawyer with interests in ideas of guilt, forgiveness and justice, in critical socio-legal theory, and in dialectical philosophy. He has recently published a third edition of Crime, Reason and History (2014) and Justice and the Slaughter Bench: Essays on Law’s Broken Dialectic (2017). At present he is completing a three year project on ‘Criminal Justice: the Blaming Relation’ where he is currently exploring issues of guilt and forgiveness in and beyond law, drawing on psychoanalysis and philosophy around the theme of love.

Alan Norrie was Edmund-Davies Professor of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice at King’s College London (1997-2009) and held the Drapers’ Chair in Law at Queen Mary and Westfield College (1994-7). He has been at Warwick University since 2009 and was Head of the Law School from 2011-2015. He is President of the International Association for Critical Realism, a Fellow of the British Academy and a Leverhulme Major Research Fellow.

His other books include Law, Ideology and Punishment (Kluwer, 1991), Punishment, Responsibility and Justice (Oxford University Press, 2000), Law and the Beautiful Soul (Routledge, 2005), Dialectic and Difference: Dialectical Critical Realism and the Grounds of Justice (Routledge, 2010).

Law and the Beautiful Soul won the Hart/SLSA Book Prize and was described as ‘an important book which crosses a breathtakingly diverse terrain … a beautifully written book, which … demonstrates the author’s own journey’. Dialectic and Difference won the Cheryl Frank Memorial Prize.


Panel speakers


Margaret S. Archer studied at the London School of Economics and as a post-doc. at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris, also working with Pierre Bourdieu. She first developed her ‘morphogenetic  approach’ in Social Origins of Educational Systems (1979 re-printed 2013). She was Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick from 1979 until 2010, writing and editing over forty books, including The Reflexive Imperative in Late Modernity (2012), Structure, Agency and the Internal Conversation (2003), Being Human: The Problem of Agency (2000), Realist Social Theory: The Morphogenetic Approach (1995), and Culture and Agency (1988) plus 50 articles.

In 2011 she became Professor of Social Theory at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and Directrice of its new ‘Centre d’Ontologie Sociale’.  She continued to develop her ‘Morphogenetic Approach’ as the explanatory framework for Critical Realism’s social ontology. The Centre’s main project was exploring ‘the Morphogenic Society’ as a possible future for late modernity, in a 5-book Series she edited for Springer.

She was President of the International Sociological Association (1986-90); a Trustee of the Centre for Critical Realism; a founding member of FAcSS; the British Nominee for the Balzan Prize, 2013; and a founder member of the  , becoming its President (2014 to date). She is Honorary Professor at University College London, Visiting Professor at the Universities of Navarra (Spain), the University Kardynała Stefana Wyszyńskiego (Warsaw) and the Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø : the first two  have awarded her the Doctorate Honoris Causa.

 In 2016 she founded a Charity for Trafficked women and their children in Britain (‘Housing, Help and Hospitality’), now home for two Nigerian mothers and their three children.


Jin Xue, Ph.D. is associate professor in urban planning, Norwegian University of Life Sciences. She has a research background of urban sustainability. Xue has drawn critical realism to critically discuss the limitations of the presently dominant eco-modernist approach to sustainable urban and housing development, and published her book Economic Growth and Sustainable Housing: An Uneasy Relationship in 2014. Xue has also publications addressing issues related to China’s eco-politics. At present, she is completing a research project on Vacation Homes, Spatial Planning and Climate Chang, where she and her colleagues investigate and compare the vacation home development in Norway and China and the relationships to climate change.


Dag O. Hessen
, Professor at dept of Biosciences, University of Oslo. He is mainly working with
evolutionary and ecological issues, from genes to ecosystems. He is currentlu head of the BioGeoChemistry Center at UiO. He also has a long lasting interest for sustainability. Hessen has published a large number of scientific papers, and also several popular science books.



Victoria Wyszynski Thoresen holds the UNESCO Chair for Education about Sustainable Lifestyles at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences and is the director of The Collaborative Learning Centre for Sustainable Development. Thoresen has specialized in curriculum development, global education, peace education, value-based education and consumer education. In addition to many years of experience as a teacher and teacher trainer, Thoresen has written articles and textbooks for teacher training and has functioned as an international educational consultant. As leader of PERL, The Partnership for Education and Research about Responsible Living, she has worked closely with UNEP, UNESCO and other international agencies concerned with sustainable development.







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