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date: 23 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter traces developments in historical institutionalist approaches to institutional change. Originally, historical (like rational choice and sociological) institutionalism focused on institutions as “independent” variables, favoring a “comparative statics” mode of analysis. Institutions were relatively fixed and unproblematically enforced rules, while change came through periodic “critical junctures.” A dualistic institutional imagery treated institutions as exogenous for some analytical purposes, highly plastic for others. More recently, historical institutionalists have turned their attention to the dynamics of institutional evolution through political contestation and contextual change. This has allowed the identification of previously neglected processes of incremental and endogenous institutional change.

Keywords: institutional change, historical institutionalism, rational choice institutionalism, sociological institutionalism

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