Garry Runciman, 3rd Viscount Runciman of Doxford

  (Redirected from W. G. Runciman)

Walter Garrison Runciman, 3rd Viscount Runciman of Doxford, CBE, FBA (born 10 November 1934), usually known informally as Garry Runciman, is a 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.[1] He was educated at Eton College, where he was an Oppidan Scholar, and Trinity College, Cambridge.[2]


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.[3]

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.[4]

Securities and Investments BoardEdit

Runciman was invited by the Governor of the Bank of England to serve on the Securities and Investment Board (later to become the Financial Services Authority), from which he retired in 1998.[5]

Royal Commission on Criminal JusticeEdit

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.[6]


Runciman's first major publication was Relative Deprivation and Social Justice: a Study of Attitudes to Social Inequality in Twentieth-Century Britain.[7] Since then, he has published A Critique of Max Weber’s Philosophy of Social Science,[8] A Treatise on Social Theory,[9] and The Social Animal.[10] 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.


Runciman is married to Dame Ruth Runciman. His son and heir is David (born 1967), a political scientist and writer who teaches at Cambridge University.[11]


Coat of 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. ^ Runciman[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "RUNCIMAN OF DOXFORD, 3rd Viscount (Walter Garrison Runciman (Garry))". Who's Who. 2018 (online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. (subscription or UK public library membership required) (subscription required)
  3. ^ Bio at Trinity College website,; accessed 12 July 2014.
  4. ^ British Academy Fellows Archive Archived 6 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 30 September 2008
  5. ^ London Review of books, 21 January 2016
  6. ^ CCRC Website Archived 2 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed 12 July 2014.
  7. ^ Routledge, 1966, reprinted by Gregg Revivals in 1993
  8. ^ Cambridge University Press, 1972
  9. ^ Cambridge University Press, Vol. 1 1983, Vol. 2 1989, Vol. 3 1997
  10. ^ HarperCollins, 1998
  11. ^; Runciman

External linksEdit

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