B. Guy Peters

in The Oxford Handbook of British Politics

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780199230952
Published online January 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations


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This article explores the role of institutional theory, and institutional analysis more broadly, in British political science. Institutional analysis presents some interesting paradoxes about examining and realizing British politics, and this article develops several of these and investigates their implications. It first considers the institutionalism as the root of British political analysis. Institutionalism helps explain how even individuals with strong political views appear to adapt those views to conform to institutional contexts. British political science may need to incorporate more dynamic elements into the study of institutions. The strong institutionalist strand in British political science may actually facilitate that integration. The use of institutional analysis shows some interesting paradoxes about the practice of governing in the United Kingdom, and also illuminates the theories that bring forth the paradoxes.

Keywords: institutionalism; institutional theory; British political science; institutional analysis; United Kingdom; paradoxes

Article.  7875 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; UK Politics ; Political Institutions

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