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New Institutionalism
Definition of New
              Institutionalism
   Interplay of the different institutions within
    society, and how their dynamics, rules and
    norms determine the behavior and actions of
    individiduals

   Comes from (old) institutionalism, which is
    focused on state/government and their various
    laws and practices which are applied to
    citizens
Origins
 Main points of the institutional approach can already be found
in the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau

His criticism of Hobbes, Locke, and others for assuming that the
behavior of possessive individuals in a particular historical and
social context expressed the natural preferences and traits of all
human beings is an institutionalist claim that behavior and
preferences are not a coincident

Rousseau viewed preferences, such as the desire to accumulate
property, not as universal postulates on which one could found a
scientific theory (cont.)
of politics but as products of society—its norms and its
institutions.

“Law and custom shaped men’s preferences and institutionalized
power and privilege, thus converting natural inequalities into
more pernicious social inequalities. To discover the true nature
of man, untainted by the social order, one would have to imagine
men in a presocial state, stripped of all effects of social
intercourse and even language. To restore the natural freedom of
man under modern conditions, Rousseau proposed the social
contract. Such a contract would allow men to “find a form of
association which will defend and protect with the whole
common force the person and goods of each associate, and in
which each, while uniting himself with all, may still obey
himself alone, and remain as free as before.”
    was launched by political scientists March and Olsen in 1984
    as a reaction to behaviouralism and the growing influence of
    rational choice theory.

   focuses on the way in which institutions embody values and
    power relationships

   defines institutions themselves as an essential variable in
    political outcomes.
    March and Olsen(1984): new institutionalism stresses the
    relative autonomy of political institutions. Institutions are
    neither a mirror of society (the behavioural critique), nor
    merely the site for individual strategies (as in the rational actor
    paradigm).

    Institutions give meaning to interactions and provide the
    context within which interactions take place.
Assumptions
   Three main approaches emerge from the
    terminological morass:
   the ‘logic of appropriateness’
     a concern with the weight of past decisions
    and processes of automatic government
   the attempt to marry methodological
    individualism and institutional design
Main approaches
   Sociological or normative institutionalism emphasizes the
    cultural context within which organizations function and the
    values with which actors are imbued.

   Historic institutionalism emphasizes the importance of initial
    decisions and choices of venues and introduces notions such
    as that of path dependency; traditions; response to structural-
    functionalism
   Rational choice institutionalism purports that institutions are
    only vested with powers by individuals. Rational choice
    institutionalism involves more rational choice than
    institutionalism, the research focus being upon how
    individuals can use institutions to maximize their interest.
    Institutions, appreciated in an instrumental way, can be
    important insofar as they can be designed to limit the
    consequences of individual behaviour
Normative/Sociological Institutionalism
    Normative or sociological institutionalism refers to the codes
     of appropriate behaviour that imbue actors in organisations.
    Act upon their perceptions of what is the correct code of
     behaviour; and they will resist changes from within or outside
     challenge understandings of ‘appropriate behaviour’ especially
     when this is linked to the exercise of a specific profession or
     corps.
     Actors within organisations are bound by common values,
     which explains not only their propensity to frustrate change,
     but also the capacity for organisations to reproduce
     themselves.
    Normative institutionalism thus frames institutions in terms of
     the belief systems of actors, considered as members of a
     profession/corps/grade, rather than as utility maximising
     individuals.
    Its underlying assumption is that individuals within
     organisations are conservative, fearful of change and resolute
     in defence of their interests.
Historical institutionalism
   Need to understand the importance of history in general, and
    the history of specific policy sectors or public policies in
    particular

   Another is to focus on the sectoral level, and retrace the
    history of specific public policies.

   This sectoral analysis is that favoured by the historical
    institutionalist school. Decisions set sectors on a given path,
    from which a shift is extremely costly in terms past
    investment. Change can usually only occur in the context of a
    paradigm shift
   In the HI approach, the heritage is identified as the principal
    independent variable (Rose, Collier notably). Rose (1991)
    argues strongly that policy choices are limited by past choices.
    Incumbent governments can not ignore past commitments that
    are given substance by complex legal systems and pre-existing
    institutions and actor configurations.
   The vast bulk of laws in operation at any one time are not
    those implemented by the incumbent government.
   In a similar argument, Weaver speaks of automatic
    government and doubts the capacity of governments to
    implement change.
    Policy programmes pursue their autonomous development
    irrespective of the activities of governments in power. The
    field of social welfare is especially prone to this type of
    analysis.
Rational choice institutionalism
   RC institutionalism attempts to marry methodological
    individualism and institutional design (Ostrom)
   Rational choice focuses on methodological individualism,
    rather than collective, or middle level aggregates.
   For RC, to understand institutions we need first and foremost
    to understand individual interactions, specifically the games
    people play.
   Rational Choice institutionalism: a market doctrine? Political
    economists refuse to recognize the State, assume individual is
    an egotistical, self-interested actor
   Rational choice institutionalism involves more rational choice
    than institutionalism
   The research focus: how to design institutions in an
    instrumental way, so that they can be designed to limit the
    consequences of utility maximizing individual behaviour
Thinkers
•   James March

    Known for his research on organizations and organizational
    decision making

•   Johan Olsen

    One of the developers of the systemic-anarchic perspective of
    organizational decision making known as the Garbage Can
    Model. He is a prominent thinker and writer on a wide variety
    of topics, such as new institutionalism and Europeanization
•   Elinor Ostrom

    Associated with the new institutional economics and the
    resurgence of political economy

•   Richard Rose

    He has conducted research on a wide range of topics,
    including the Northern Ireland conflict, EU
    enlargement, democratization, elections and voting
Critiques

     “New Institutionalism” is often contrasted with ʺOld
Institutionalism”.

  -From the point of view of the older institutionalism, new
institutionalism tries to explain institutional change as merely
another instance of utility maximization. Old institutionalism,
on the contrary, seeks to articulate reasons for institutional
change in terms of social and political volition


-It is often said that new institutionalism is at its weakest when
trying to explain the genesis and transformation of institutions
Sources
   William H. Riker, “Implications from the Disequilibrium of Majority Rule
    for the Study of Institutions,” American Political Science Review 74, no. 2
    (June 1980): 432-47.
   Herbert A. Simon, Administrative Behavior: A Study of Decision-Making
    Processes in Administrative Organization, 2d ed. (New York: Macmillan,
    1957 [1945])
   Lynne G. Zucker, “The Role of Institutionalism in Cultural Persistence,” in
    Powell and DiMaggio, eds., The New Institutionalism in Organizational
    Analysis, 83-107

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New Institutionalism

  • 2. Definition of New Institutionalism  Interplay of the different institutions within society, and how their dynamics, rules and norms determine the behavior and actions of individiduals  Comes from (old) institutionalism, which is focused on state/government and their various laws and practices which are applied to citizens
  • 3. Origins Main points of the institutional approach can already be found in the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau His criticism of Hobbes, Locke, and others for assuming that the behavior of possessive individuals in a particular historical and social context expressed the natural preferences and traits of all human beings is an institutionalist claim that behavior and preferences are not a coincident Rousseau viewed preferences, such as the desire to accumulate property, not as universal postulates on which one could found a scientific theory (cont.)
  • 4. of politics but as products of society—its norms and its institutions. “Law and custom shaped men’s preferences and institutionalized power and privilege, thus converting natural inequalities into more pernicious social inequalities. To discover the true nature of man, untainted by the social order, one would have to imagine men in a presocial state, stripped of all effects of social intercourse and even language. To restore the natural freedom of man under modern conditions, Rousseau proposed the social contract. Such a contract would allow men to “find a form of association which will defend and protect with the whole common force the person and goods of each associate, and in which each, while uniting himself with all, may still obey himself alone, and remain as free as before.”
  • 5. was launched by political scientists March and Olsen in 1984 as a reaction to behaviouralism and the growing influence of rational choice theory.  focuses on the way in which institutions embody values and power relationships  defines institutions themselves as an essential variable in political outcomes.
  • 6. March and Olsen(1984): new institutionalism stresses the relative autonomy of political institutions. Institutions are neither a mirror of society (the behavioural critique), nor merely the site for individual strategies (as in the rational actor paradigm).  Institutions give meaning to interactions and provide the context within which interactions take place.
  • 7. Assumptions  Three main approaches emerge from the terminological morass:  the ‘logic of appropriateness’  a concern with the weight of past decisions and processes of automatic government  the attempt to marry methodological individualism and institutional design
  • 8. Main approaches  Sociological or normative institutionalism emphasizes the cultural context within which organizations function and the values with which actors are imbued.  Historic institutionalism emphasizes the importance of initial decisions and choices of venues and introduces notions such as that of path dependency; traditions; response to structural- functionalism  Rational choice institutionalism purports that institutions are only vested with powers by individuals. Rational choice institutionalism involves more rational choice than institutionalism, the research focus being upon how individuals can use institutions to maximize their interest. Institutions, appreciated in an instrumental way, can be important insofar as they can be designed to limit the consequences of individual behaviour
  • 9. Normative/Sociological Institutionalism  Normative or sociological institutionalism refers to the codes of appropriate behaviour that imbue actors in organisations.  Act upon their perceptions of what is the correct code of behaviour; and they will resist changes from within or outside challenge understandings of ‘appropriate behaviour’ especially when this is linked to the exercise of a specific profession or corps.  Actors within organisations are bound by common values, which explains not only their propensity to frustrate change, but also the capacity for organisations to reproduce themselves.  Normative institutionalism thus frames institutions in terms of the belief systems of actors, considered as members of a profession/corps/grade, rather than as utility maximising individuals.  Its underlying assumption is that individuals within organisations are conservative, fearful of change and resolute in defence of their interests.
  • 10. Historical institutionalism  Need to understand the importance of history in general, and the history of specific policy sectors or public policies in particular  Another is to focus on the sectoral level, and retrace the history of specific public policies.  This sectoral analysis is that favoured by the historical institutionalist school. Decisions set sectors on a given path, from which a shift is extremely costly in terms past investment. Change can usually only occur in the context of a paradigm shift
  • 11. In the HI approach, the heritage is identified as the principal independent variable (Rose, Collier notably). Rose (1991) argues strongly that policy choices are limited by past choices. Incumbent governments can not ignore past commitments that are given substance by complex legal systems and pre-existing institutions and actor configurations.  The vast bulk of laws in operation at any one time are not those implemented by the incumbent government.  In a similar argument, Weaver speaks of automatic government and doubts the capacity of governments to implement change.  Policy programmes pursue their autonomous development irrespective of the activities of governments in power. The field of social welfare is especially prone to this type of analysis.
  • 12. Rational choice institutionalism  RC institutionalism attempts to marry methodological individualism and institutional design (Ostrom)  Rational choice focuses on methodological individualism, rather than collective, or middle level aggregates.  For RC, to understand institutions we need first and foremost to understand individual interactions, specifically the games people play.  Rational Choice institutionalism: a market doctrine? Political economists refuse to recognize the State, assume individual is an egotistical, self-interested actor  Rational choice institutionalism involves more rational choice than institutionalism  The research focus: how to design institutions in an instrumental way, so that they can be designed to limit the consequences of utility maximizing individual behaviour
  • 13. Thinkers • James March Known for his research on organizations and organizational decision making • Johan Olsen One of the developers of the systemic-anarchic perspective of organizational decision making known as the Garbage Can Model. He is a prominent thinker and writer on a wide variety of topics, such as new institutionalism and Europeanization
  • 14. Elinor Ostrom Associated with the new institutional economics and the resurgence of political economy • Richard Rose He has conducted research on a wide range of topics, including the Northern Ireland conflict, EU enlargement, democratization, elections and voting
  • 15. Critiques “New Institutionalism” is often contrasted with ʺOld Institutionalism”. -From the point of view of the older institutionalism, new institutionalism tries to explain institutional change as merely another instance of utility maximization. Old institutionalism, on the contrary, seeks to articulate reasons for institutional change in terms of social and political volition -It is often said that new institutionalism is at its weakest when trying to explain the genesis and transformation of institutions
  • 16. Sources  William H. Riker, “Implications from the Disequilibrium of Majority Rule for the Study of Institutions,” American Political Science Review 74, no. 2 (June 1980): 432-47.  Herbert A. Simon, Administrative Behavior: A Study of Decision-Making Processes in Administrative Organization, 2d ed. (New York: Macmillan, 1957 [1945])  Lynne G. Zucker, “The Role of Institutionalism in Cultural Persistence,” in Powell and DiMaggio, eds., The New Institutionalism in Organizational Analysis, 83-107