1932

Abstract

This article provides an overview of recent developments in historical institutionalism. First, it reviews some distinctions that are commonly drawn between the “historical” and the “rational choice” variants of institutionalism and shows that there are more points of tangency than typically assumed. However, differences remain in how scholars in the two traditions approach empirical problems. The contrast of rational choice's emphasis on institutions as coordination mechanisms that generate or sustain equilibria versus historical institutionalism's emphasis on how institutions emerge from and are embedded in concrete temporal processes serves as the foundation for the second half of the essay, which assesses our progress in understanding institutional formation and change. Drawing on insights from recent historical institutional work on “critical junctures” and on “policy feedbacks,” the article proposes a way of thinking about institutional evolution and path dependency that provides an alternative to equilibrium and other approaches that separate the analysis of institutional stability from that of institutional change.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.polisci.2.1.369
1999-06-01
2024-06-25
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.polisci.2.1.369
Loading
  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error