Conclusion The major criticisms of institutional theory have been its assumptions of organizational passivity and its failure to address strategic behaviour and the exercise of influence in its conceptions of institutionalization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Second, as a result, institutionalism contains the seeds of better comparisons. One key line of inquiry extends Weber’s famous image of the Iron Cage of rationalization (Gerth & Mills, 2009). Arthur used so-called Polya urn processes to model change over time and to argue against his colleagues who insisted that actors with free choice would inevitably converge on efficient equilibria. Philip Selznick (1919–2010) was a leading scholar in the s of both law and organizations. In part, this reflects very broad problems in the social sciences (such as the relationship between structure and agency). These interactions are partly endogenous because they are part and parcel of the workings of the institution itself—that is, they are in large part the result of the admixture of individuals’ varying beliefs about what the institution in fact consists of. New York: Cambridge University Press. This literature soon discovered various paradoxes and instabilities, which began to have important consequences for political science as well as economics. Strong Societies and Weak States: State-Society Relations and State Capabilities in the Third World. Congressional committees could carve out specific issue dimensions, reducing the issue space so that each issue dimension was dealt with separately, and a chaotic space of social choice across multiple dimensions was transformed into a series of iterated decisions taken within discrete jurisdictions (Shepsle, 1979). In other words, if Factor X leads to institutional change, which then leads to Outcome Y, why not get rid of the intermediating factor, institutional change, because it appears not to be doing any additional work. More broadly, path dependence offered no obvious theory of the mechanisms of institutional reproduction or change (Thelen, 1999), and, by concentrating on critical junctures, where anything could happen, emphasized exogenous change to the exclusion of any proper consideration of what paths actually involved (Streeck & Thelen, 2005). Politics and International Investment: Measuring Risk and Protecting Profits. “Relational Regulation in the Brazilian Ministerio Publico: The Organizational Basis of Regulatory Responsiveness.” Regulation & Governance 5: 70–89. 68 Surnarayan, Pavithra . Thus, for example, Dobbin (1994) looked to different political processes surrounding the state to explain why France, the United Kingdom, and the United States had such different understandings of railway markets in the nineteenth century. Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance. Second, it identifies ways in which institutions can change that are not reducible to external circumstances, although they surely may be heavily influenced by them. Yet North’s (1990) arguments, too, had fuzzy microfoundations. “Power in Historical Institutionalism.” In Orfeo Fioretos , Tulia Falleti and Alan Sheingate , eds., Handbook of Historical Institutionalism, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Such arguments also provide the basis for theories of institutional change. “What/whose Property Rights? Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. “A Militant Defense of Term Limits in Bolivia.” Paper presented at the Conference on Weak Institutions, at the University of Texas at Austin, September 28, 2017. “Vote Buying in Brazil: From Impunity to Prosecution.” Unpublished. 2010. Oxford: CABI. Elite Theory Institutional theory in IS research • Not as rigourous. Technocracy and Democracy in Latin America . “Pathways to Enforcement: Labor Inspectors Leveraging Linkages with Society in Argentina.” ILR Review 67(1): 3–33. (1992). Presidential Impeachment and the New Political Instability in Latin America. In particular, they emphasized the importance of heterogeneity of viewpoints, network fragmentation, and contradiction between institutional rules in explaining the circumstances under which change is more or less likely. “Ambiguous Agreement, Cumulative Change: French Social Policy in the 1990s.” In Beyond Continuity: Institutional Change in Advanced Political Economies. Elkins, Zachary , Tom Ginsburg , and James Melton . Torres Wong, Marcela . Shepsle, Kenneth A. Gonzalez Ocantos, Ezequiel , Chad Kiewiet de Jonge , and David W. Nickerson . “Governance Indicators and the Level of Analysis Problem: Empirical Findings from South America.” British Journal of Political Science 43(3): 505–40. Meyer and Rowan (1977) noted that this homogeneity coexisted with a wide variety of different behaviors, which were not caused or predicted by formal institutions. “Politics as a Process Structured in Space and Time” in Fioretos, O. , Falleti, T. , and Sheingate, A. (2004). These theoretical battles are giving way to a more practical interest in common interchange, focusing on how institutions, however conceived, shape outcomes. In contrast to rational choice scholars, who tended either to see institutions as structures producing an equilibrium, or as that equilibrium itself, historical institutionalists thought of institutions in terms of processes of change, with no necessary end point. Allen, D., Farrell, H., & Shalizi, C. (2017). In the remainder of this contribution, I look to contribute to existing efforts to reconcile the study of knowledge in space and the study of knowledge in institutions, focusing on the latter rather than the former. Others, such as Downs (1957), provided a more optimistic account. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Institutions and economic growth co-evolve, with changes in capacity building and improvements in governance contributing to the development of economic activity and vice versa. “On the State, Democratization and Some Conceptual Problems: A Latin American View with Glances at Some Postcommunist Countries.” World Development 21(8): 1355–69. The Institutional Foundations of Bureaucratic Autonomy. New York: Cambridge University Press. “The Stickiness of ‘Bad’ Institutions: Constitutional Continuity and Change Under Democracy.” In Daniel M. Brinks , Steven Levitsky and M. Victoria Murillo , (eds. “Delegative Democracy.” Journal of Democracy 5(1): 55–69. Second, it can offer a clear account of how institutions have consequences. New York: Cambridge University Press. So too, organizations and even states, which existed within what Meyer and his coauthors described as a common world polity (Meyer et al. Political Competition, Partisanship, and Policymaking in Latin America. Jepperson, R. L. (2002). Pierson, Paul 2016. Berkeley: University of California Press. 2016. These theories, however, raise the question of why institutions are important if they are the mere condensate of some underlying structural force or forces, obliging a return to a proper account of how institutions have visible consequences, so the pendulum of argument swings back. Herbst, Jeffrey. Specifically, it provides the building blocks for more precise models, which could not only provide a better understanding of how institutions work in practice, but also help scholars move beyond thick description toward a more analytically precise language that would better articulate the relationship between abstract models and complex facts. Shepsle, K. A. Van de Walle, Nicholas . Yet these theories are problematic, insofar as they often do not illuminate the underlying factors explaining why one gets one set of institutions (say—growth and/or innovation promoting) and not another. Part of Springer Nature. 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