Institutions - Institutions What are Institutions?...

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Institutions
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What are Institutions? Self-perpetuating rules, norms, practices, & other social structures which define the possible & the North: “Humanly devised constraints that shape human interaction” The “rules of the game” in a society Something so embedded in people’s lives as a norm or value that it is not easily dislodged or changed
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Institutions are of interest to comparativists both as… Objects of inquiry Outcomes to be explained Dependent variables Explanatory factors Something that explains other observed outcomes Independent variables E.g., electoral systems, property rights
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Formal Institutions Institutions may be formal or informal Formal institutions include… Constitutions Any kind of formally codified, written rule
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Informal Institutions Examples of informal institutions include… Norms Customs Traditions Taboos Conventions Codes of conduct Any “unwritten” rule E.g., norms against corruption, unwritten rules of baseball
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Informal Institutions
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Structures vs. Institutions Institutions are similar to structures insofar as they constrain human choices, thereby determining outcomes However, unlike structures, institutions are human creations “An institution is the lengthened shadow of one person” As such, they are subject to change through human manipulation (though such change may be difficult to bring about)
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This note was uploaded on 10/04/2011 for the course INTL 3200 taught by Professor Wilson during the Fall '08 term at University of Georgia Athens.

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Institutions - Institutions What are Institutions?...

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