Garry Runciman, 3rd Viscount Runciman of Doxford

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For other people named Walter Runciman, see Walter Runciman (disambiguation).

Walter Garrison Runciman, 3rd Viscount Runciman of Doxford, CBE, FBA (born 10 November 1934), usually known informally as Garry Runciman, is a leading British historical sociologist.


Runciman is the son of Leslie Runciman, 2nd Viscount Runciman of Doxford, by his second wife Katherine Schuyler Garrison. British historian Sir Steven Runciman was his uncle.[citation needed]


Runciman has been a Senior Research Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge since 1971, researching in the field of comparative and historical sociology. He is a Cambridge Apostle. His principal research interest is the application of neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory to cultural and social selection.[1]

He holds honorary degrees from King's College London and the Universities of Edinburgh, Oxford, and York. He is also an Honorary Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an Honorary Bencher of Inner Temple. He was elected to the British Academy in 1975 and served as its President from 2001 to 2005.[2]

Royal Commission on Criminal Justice[edit]

Runciman chaired the British Government's Royal Commission on Criminal Justice which continued Sir John May's inquiry into the convictions of the Maguire Seven and encompassed further miscarriages of justice. As a result the Criminal Appeal Act 1995 established the Criminal Cases Review Commission as an executive Non-Departmental Public Body.[3]


Runciman's first major publication was Relative Deprivation and Social Justice: a Study of Attitudes to Social Inequality in Twentieth-Century Britain (Routledge, 1966), reprinted by Gregg Revivals in 1993. Since then, he has published A Critique of Max Weber’s Philosophy of Social Science (Cambridge University Press, 1972), A Treatise on Social Theory (Cambridge University Press, Vol. 1 1983, Vol. 2 1989, Vol. 3 1997), and The Social Animal (HarperCollins, 1998). In 2004, he edited and contributed to a British Academy occasional paper Hutton and Butler: Lifting the Lid on the Workings of Power, which deals with the events surrounding Britain's participation in the invasion of Iraq and the way in which it was presented to the British public.[citation needed]


Runciman is married to Dame Ruth Runciman. Their son, David (b. 1967), a political scientist and writer who teaches at Cambridge University, is heir apparent to the title.


Arms of Garry Runciman, 3rd Viscount Runciman of Doxford
A Coronet of a Viscount
A Seahorse erect Gules holding in the fore fins a Thistle as in the arms
Per Fess Or and Azure a Lymphad oars in action the Sail charged with a Thistle leaved and slipped proper Flags flying to the dexter Gules
On either side a Seahorse Or gorged with a Chain pendent therefrom a Grappling Iron Azure
By Sea


  1. ^ Bio at Trinity College website,; accessed 12 July 2014.
  2. ^ British Academy Fellows Archive Accessed 30 September 2008
  3. ^ CCRC Website,; accessed 12 July 2014.

External links[edit]

Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Walter Leslie Runciman
Viscount Runciman of Doxford