Epilogue: Institutions in History: Bringing Capitalism Back In

  • Streeck W
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Abstract

The paper explores possible frontiers of historical-institutionalist analysis. It argues three points: that progress will require a return from a static to a dynamic perspective in which change is no longer a special case but a universal condition of any social order; that theory must not a priori rule out the possibility that institutional change may be more than just random fluctuation, and that it could instead be part of a transition from one state of development to another; and that capturing the dynamic nature of social institutions – and of social order in general – will require an analytical framework that is adapted to the historical specificities of concrete social formations. Central concepts around which future work in institutionalist political economy may be organized are suggested to be history, development, evolution, and capitalist development. The general idea is that social science stands to benefit, not from ever-advancing abstraction and generalization, but on the contrary from fitting its theoretical template to the historical specificity of the society it is dealing with.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Analytical framework
  • Development
  • Dynamic perspective
  • Historical direction
  • Historical process
  • Social formations
  • Social institutions

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Authors

  • Wolfgang Streeck

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