Ideas and Interests in Institutional Change
The effective construction of social institutions, be they political or economic, has long been an important topic of scholarly study. One can easily see the important influence that different political institutions have on the types of policies and politics that states pursue since the dawn of human history. Institutions emerge in a social context and evolve slowly as circumstances change. Douglas North’s Nobel Prize–winning work on the importance of economic institutions focused not only on why there was stability, a necessary component of any institution, but also why some institutions changed. How then do ideas, circumstances, and shocks prompt societies to re-evaluate and update their institutions?
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