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Ideas and Politics in Social Science Research$
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Daniel Béland and Robert Henry Cox

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199736430

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199736430.001.0001

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Reconciling Ideas and Institutions through Discursive Institutionalism

Reconciling Ideas and Institutions through Discursive Institutionalism

(p.47) 2 Reconciling Ideas and Institutions through Discursive Institutionalism
Ideas and Politics in Social Science Research

Vivien A. Schmidt (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

During the past three decades, “new institutionalism” has become the main methodological battleground among political scientists. This is because political scientists differ in their preferred “new institutionalist” approach to political science. There are four basic institutionalist approaches: three older new institutionalisms—rational choice, historical, and sociological institutionalism—plus a fourth newer new institutionalism, called discursive institutionalism. This chapter explores the relationship between ideational and discourse analysis, on one hand, and various forms of new institutionalism, on the other hand. It makes the case for a discursive institutionalism, concerned with ideas and discourse, because it has the greatest potential for reconciling existing institutionalist approaches.

Keywords:   ideational analysis, discourse analysis, ideas, discursive institutionalism, sociological institutionalism, new institutionalist approaches, rational choice, historical institutionalism

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