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date: 29 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article starts with a description in broad strokes of the intellectual heritage shaping institutionalism in different social science disciplines. Then, a number of debates serve as points of entry to approach the question of coherence or diversity. The definition of institutions, the double issue of change and emergence, and the question of action and agency are explored in turn. Those are key questions today, with which scholars are grappling across and beyond disciplinary boundaries. A red thread throughout the article is to ponder whether the exploration of these questions reveals enduring and tight boundaries, or whether it shows instead increasing coherence and proximity within the broad institutionalist family. In the concluding section, the article goes back to this thread.

Keywords: intellectual heritage, social science, coherence, diversity, proximity

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