Analyzing Ideas and Tracing Discursive Interactions in Institutional Change: From Historical Institutionalism to Discursive Institutionalism

28 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 17 Sep 2010

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

Comparative political economists who use historical institutionalism have made great contributions in describing what happened in cases of political economic change in advanced industrialized democracies, but they have great difficulty explaining much of why this happened. This paper argues that a discursive institutionalist analytic framework helps to explain why, and it will show how by offering methodological guidelines for the analysis of ideas and discourse in action. It will focus on such issues as the timing and content of change, both revolutionary and evolutionary; the agents and context of change through their articulation of ideas in discursive interactions in both the meaning-based frameworks of communication and the structural frameworks elucidated by historical institutionalists. The paper illustrates throughout with examples from the historical and discursive institutionalist literatures on national capitalisms and welfare states.

Keywords: Historical Institutionalism, Discursive Institutionalism, Ideas, Discourse, Endogenous Change, Political Economy

Suggested Citation

Schmidt, Vivien, Analyzing Ideas and Tracing Discursive Interactions in Institutional Change: From Historical Institutionalism to Discursive Institutionalism (2010). APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1642947

Vivien Schmidt (Contact Author)

Boston University ( email )

152 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215
617-358-0192 (Phone)
617-353-9290 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://people.bu.edu/vschmidt

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