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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: 22 June 2021

Historical Institutionalism and Societal Transformations

Historical Institutionalism and Societal Transformations

(p.95) Chapter 9 Historical Institutionalism and Societal Transformations
The Handbook of Political, Social, and Economic Transformation

Christoph H. Stefes

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines historical institutionalism (HI) and the role that time and institutions play in societal transformations. HI thereby provides analytical depth to the study of time, realizing that the duration, tempo, timing, and sequencing of historical processes and events affect the onset of societal transformations. Institutions subsequently narrow the range of paths that societal transformations could potentially take, by enabling distinct forms of cooperation between various actors, (re)distributing power and resources, and proscribing and prescribing appropriate behaviour. In the wake of radical and incremental institutional changes, caused by exogenous shocks and endogenous dynamics, societies might embark on new paths. With its analytical focus on the meso level and the nature of time, HI has contributed to the development of middle-range theories that often bridge the traditional actor-structure divide.

Keywords:   historical institutionalism, institutions, temporality, path dependency, self-reinforcing dynamic, institutional reproduction, critical juncture, endogenous change

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