historical institutionalism

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W. H. Riker (1921—1993)


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A fashion (actually a number of convergent fashions) in political science for stressing that institutions matter because they shape behaviour, and that therefore it is important to study their history, both for its own sake and for the sake of understanding why political actors behave as they do within the framework they find themselves in. Leading figures of historical institutionalism include T. Skocpol, D. North, and W. H. Riker. See also new institutionalism.

Subjects: Politics.

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