Neo-Institutionalism and the Success Story of Capitalism: Two Different Approaches to Social Change
The central weakness of every institutionalism is its attempt to elevate the significance of formal and informal institutions as some exterior self-acting mechanisms, productive or unproductive ones, extractive or inclusive ones, above the factors that made them as such. Those other factors are paired and merged with them. They create them and it is not just abstract element of contingency or historical luck that improve or deteriorate some state of affairs, it is human rationality and irrationality, mentalities, habits, languages, destructives, moeurs et manières as Tocqueville would put it. This is the reason why abstract models of social behavior and historical explanation are of limited use in any analysis of social change. In this article we seek to explore this type of theoretical reductivism on the example of two different neo-institutional approaches to a social change.
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