Institutional Theory in Political Science: The 'new Institutionalism'

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Continuum, 2005 - Political Science - 195 pages
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At the turn of the millennium there has been a major growth of interest in institutional theory and institutional analysis in political science. This book identifies these approaches to institutions, and provides a frame of reference for the different theories. In the past decade there has been a major growth of interest in institutional theory and institutional analysis in political science. There are, however, a variety of different approaches to the new institutionalism and these approaches rarely address the same issues. This book identifies the various approaches to institutions, and then provides a common frame of reference for the different theories. In this updated and expanded edition, Peters argues that there are at least seven versions of institutionalism, beginning with the March and Olsen "normative institutionalism", and including rational choice, historical and empirical approaches to institutions and their impact on public policy. For each of the versions of institutionalism a set of identical questions is posed. Including the definition of institutions, the way in which they are formed, how they change, how individuals and institutions interact, and the nature of a "good institution". Peters discusses whether there are really so many different approaches to institutionalism, or if there is sufficient agreement among them to argue that there is really one institutional theory.

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