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The Handbook of Political, Social, and Economic Transformation$
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Wolfgang Merkel, Raj Kollmorgen, and Hans-Jürgen Wagener

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198829911

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198829911.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 June 2021

Transformation and Transition Research: An Introduction

Transformation and Transition Research: An Introduction

(p.1) Chapter 1 Transformation and Transition Research: An Introduction
The Handbook of Political, Social, and Economic Transformation
Wolfgang Merkel, Raj Kollmorgen, Hans-Jürgen Wagener
Oxford University Press

Social institutions and governmental regimes are systems of action structured by values and norms. Within these systems, self-conscious actors communicate with each other using different material and symbolic resources. The systems develop and change in response to new knowledge, altered allocations of resources, and changes in values and institutions. ‘Transformation’ analyses radical systemic change from the intentional policy point of view while ‘transition’ describes the historical path along which such change is taking place. The pragmatic design of positive institutions, which is at the basis of the concept of transformation, is historically a rather recent phenomenon. Although these concepts gained prominence only with the great turnaround of 1989/90, they have a prehistory in social theory (Marx, Menger, Weber, Schumpeter, and Polanyi, for instance) and in historical development (the French and the Russian revolutions, Meiji Restoration, post-Civil War United States, for instance). Transformation research thus has at its disposal a wide field of cases and analytic levels.

Keywords:   transformation, transition, multidisciplinary perspective, evolutionary social change, policymaking, post-socialist transition, unintended transformations, catch-up modernization, political entrepreneurs, civil society

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