A Democratic Vision and Some Complications

Johan P. Olsen

in Governing through Institution Building

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780199593934
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191594632 | DOI:
A Democratic Vision and Some Complications

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Over the last few decades there has been international agreement that institutions matter; that existing institutions are inadequate and do not deliver; that major reforms are needed; and that it is possible, but often difficult, to change institutions in ways that improve human conditions. The optimism illustrated by the democratic-instrumental vision is founded on an account of human nature and association emphasizing human will, understanding, learning, and control. Chapter 1 complicates this optimistic vision by asking what are important institutional effects, how institutions matter, and the degree to which institutional form is a matter of choice. The chapter gives a first sketch of the institutional approach used, an overview of the following chapters, and some preliminary conclusions and challenges.

Keywords: institutional approach; change; reform; choice; effects; human will; understanding; learning; control

Chapter.  6806 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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