TORONTO — Anthropologist David R. Samson has won the Balsillie Prize for Public Policy for his book about how tribalism can be harnessed for good and ill.
The Writers’ Trust of Canada awarded the prize to “Our Tribal Future: How to Channel Our Foundational Human Instincts into a Force for Good.”
The $60,000 award goes to a book of non-fiction that advances policy debates.
Samson’s book posits that the desire to form “tribes” is behind some of the division in today’s society, but that it shouldn’t be eliminated outright and can instead by used to make things better.
Jurors praised the book as essential reading with “deep and enduring implications.”
The runners-up, which each receive $5,000, are “Booze, Cigarettes, and Constitutional Dust-Ups: Canada’s Quest for Interprovincial Free Trade” by Ryan Manucha; “Power and Prediction: The Disruptive Economics of Artificial Intelligence” by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb; “The Compassionate Imagination: How the Arts Are Central to a Functioning Democracy” by Max Wyman; and “Truth Telling: Seven Conversations about Indigenous Life in Canada” by Michelle Good.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 28, 2023.