Chapter

The New Institutionalism

Mark Bevir and R. A. W. Rhodes

in The State as Cultural Practice

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199580750
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723179 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580750.003.0002
The New Institutionalism

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This chapter examines the leading present-day expression of modernist-empiricism: the new institutionalism. First, it challenges the belief of new institutionalists that they have a shared new paradigm. Instead, we suggest it is varied, containing strands that can scarcely be reconciled with one another. Second, it argues that historical institutionalism exists primarily as a counter to rational choice institutionalism but its inductive, modernist-empiricist logic lacks a micro-level theory for explaining historical change and awareness grows that it is not a distinctive approach. Third, it argues that ideational or constructivist institutionalism offers a promising way forward provided it develops a micro-theory that appeals to the beliefs and desires of actors and it breaks with the ahistorical forms of explanation of modernist-empiricism.

Keywords: new institutionalism; rational choice institutionalism; historical institutionalism; constructivist institutionalism

Chapter.  6552 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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