'A splendid collection that demonstrates the possibilities of a social science praxis that is contextual, reflexive, normatively engaged and yet also well-theorized and powerfully illuminating. A bracing step toward social understanding that is not straight-jacketed by the nomothetic cannons of laboratory science.' James C. Scott, Yale University
'This book and this mission are of utmost importance and urgency. Phronesis, only phronesis, can save social science. We have no other hope.' Nassim N. Taleb, Polytechnic Institute of New York University and author of The Black Swan
'What an important book! Bent Flyvbjerg and his collaborators have taken a decisive step forward in developing social scientific enquiries informed by an Aristotelian concept of phronesis. Their case studies disclose how much has remained invisible to other modes of enquiry.' Alasdair MacIntyre, University of Notre Dame
'A landmark book in phronetic social science, expanding creatively on Flyvbjerg's innovative ideas through further theoretical elaboration and, most important, exemplary and insightful empirical applications. Eight case studies concretize phronetic practice and open new paths for moving beyond static social scientism.' Edward Soja, University of California, Los Angeles
'Real Social Science: Applied Phronesis is the much-needed practical counterpart to the theoretical and methodological arguments advanced in Bent Flyvbjerg's (2001) Making Social Science Matter … The power of the book is in the case studies. The collection successfully conveys a profound collective wisdom across the various cases, substantiating the book's argument that in-depth, case-based research leads to a deep and actionable practical wisdom … With this volume, the contributors show that phronetic research is not a marginal, 'soft' or niche paradigm. These authors are big hitters, tackling socially significant questions with high stakes, and making [a] major academic and social impact. I felt … wiser after reading the book. I think that anyone interested in understanding how complex projects really work, or how to do research that makes a social contribution, would do so too.' Flora Cornish, LSE Review of Books (blogs.lse.ac.uk/lsereviewofbooks)
'This is an important book that addresses case-specific critical research theory, research methodology and ethical research practice.' Michael Gunder, Planning Theory and Practice
About the Author
Professor Todd Landman is Director of the Institute for Democracy and Conflict Resolution at the University of Essex. He is a political scientist and has carried out numerous projects on the analysis and synthesis of data and complex governmental information as well being the author of several books and articles.
Sanford F. Schram has taught social theory and social policy at the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, Bryn Mawr College for the past 14 years. He is an affiliate to the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. As well as being author of ten books he sits on the editorial boards of a number of journals, including the Social Service Review.