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date: 23 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Historical institutionalism embraces models of the polity that acknowledge the impact on political action of the social, economic and political structures in which actors are embedded at particular times and places. In addition to examining how events affect the immediate outcome of interest, it considers how they restructure the institutional or ideological setting so as to condition outcomes at later periods in time. Through a comparison with alternative modes of analysis, this chapter outlines what it means to see politics as a structured process. Taking up the problem of plasticity raised by a second wave of historical institutional analysis, it considers how institutions might be dependent on social coalitions but still factors structuring politics by virtue of how they sustain those coalitions.

Keywords: historical institutionalism, context, conjunctures, coalitions, structured processes

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