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Institutional Theory

  • Edwin Amenta
  • Kelly M. Ramsey
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)

Although most political sociologists and political scientists nowadays either consider themselves or are deemed “institutionalists,” key differences remain among major schools of institutionalism (see reviews in Pierson and Skocpol 2002; Amenta 2005). In this chapter, we review sociological institutionalism, historical institutionalism, and political institutionalism. We discuss their similarities and differences, theoretical and methodological insights, research gains, analytical problems, and prospects for the study of politics. To focus our discussion, we mainly consider research regarding the development of public policy, the terrain on which many advances in political sociology and political science have taken place and an occasional battleground for these approaches.

Keywords

Political Institution Path Dependence Political Organization Causal Claim Epistemic Community 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Beth Gardner, Francesca Polletta, and the editors for their comments on this chapter.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edwin Amenta
    • 1
  • Kelly M. Ramsey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of California-IrvineIrvineUSA

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