Do we really need a new constructivist institutionalism to explain institutional change?

Bell, Stephen (2011) Do we really need a new constructivist institutionalism to explain institutional change?. British Journal of Political Science, 41 4: 883-906. doi:10.1017/S0007123411000147

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Author Bell, Stephen
Title Do we really need a new constructivist institutionalism to explain institutional change?
Journal name British Journal of Political Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0007-1234
1469-2112
Publication date 2011-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/S0007123411000147
Open Access Status
Volume 41
Issue 4
Start page 883
End page 906
Total pages 24
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract Rational choice, historical institutionalism and sociological institutionalism are under criticism from a new ‘constructivist institutionalism’ – with critics claiming that established positions cannot explain institutional change effectively, because agents are highly constrained by their institutional environments. These alleged problems in explaining institutional change are exaggerated and can be dealt with by using a suitably tailored historical institutionalism. This places active, interpretive agents at the centre of analysis, in institutional settings modelled as more flexible than those found in ‘sticky’ versions of historical institutionalism. This alternative approach also absorbs core elements of constructivism in explaining institutional change. The article concludes with empirical illustrations, mainly from Australian politics, of the key claims about how agents operate within institutions with ‘bounded discretion’, and how institutional environments can shape and even empower agency in change processes.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Political Science and International Studies Publications
 
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Created: Mon, 03 Oct 2011, 12:34:41 EST by Stephen Bell on behalf of School of Political Science & Internat'l Studies