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Ph.D., University of Lancaster; B.A., University of Essex.

Pawson is a sociologist. All of his published work is narrowly methodological, although the coverage is prolix (pure and applied, practical and philosophical, quantitative and qualitative, micro and macro, contemporaneous and historical). The best-known work from his early period is A Measure for Measures: A Manifesto for Empirical Sociology (1989). He entered evaluation, quite by accident, when he was asked to research the effectiveness of a prisoner education program. He has been an inmate (of evaluation, not prison) ever since.

His primary contribution to evaluation is Realistic Evaluation (with Nick Tilley). “Realism,” in the United Kingdom, at least, constitutes the prime methodological backbone of many forms of social research, and the book is an attempt to spread the word ...

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