The State and Political Economic Change: Beyond Rational Choice and Historical Institutionalism to Discursive Institutionalism

Chapter
Part of the United Nations University Series on Regionalism book series (UNSR, volume 5)

Abstract

Dominant theoretical approaches in political economy today—whether positing convergence of divergence, whether rational choice or historical institutionalist—do not take state action seriously, and this in turn makes them unable to explain the differences in degree and kind of countries’ neoliberal reforms. For this, it is necessary to bring the state back in and to put the political back into political economy not just in terms of political economic institutions but also in terms of policies, polity and politics. To explore the politicalQ2_6 in all its variety, however, the article demonstrates that at least one more methodological approach, discursive institutionalism, is also needed. This approach, by taking the role of ideas and discourse seriously, brings political actors as sentient beings back in. This in turn also enables one to explain the dynamics of neoliberal reform in political economy.

Keywords

Corporate Governance Market Economy Social Partner Pension Reform Wage Bargaining 
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.

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of International RelationsBoston UniversityBostonUSA

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