Tomemos en Serio la Evolución: Análisis Institucional y Teoría Evolutiva (Taking Evolution Seriously: Institutional Analysis and Evolutionary Theory)

Revista de Economía Institucional, Vol. 13, No. 24, p. 111, 2011

41 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2011

See all articles by Orion Lewis

Orion Lewis

Middlebury College

Sven Steinmo

European University Institute

Date Written: June 1, 2011

Abstract

In this essay, we explore the epistemological and ontological assumptions that have been made to make political science "scientific." We show how political science has generally adopted an ontologically reductionist philosophy of science derived from Newtonian physics and mechanics. This mechanical framework has encountered problems and constraints on its explanatory power, because an emphasis on equilibrium analysis is ill-suited for the study of political change. We outline the primary differences between an evolutionary ontology of social science and the physics-based philosophy commonly employed. Finally, we show how evolutionary thinking adds insight into the study of political phenomena and research questions that are of central importance to the field, such as preference formation.

Note: Downloadable document is in Spanish.

Keywords: endogenous institutional change, evolutionary theory, complex adaptive systems, new institutionalism

JEL Classification: B52, O17

Suggested Citation

Lewis, Orion and Steinmo, Sven, Tomemos en Serio la Evolución: Análisis Institucional y Teoría Evolutiva (Taking Evolution Seriously: Institutional Analysis and Evolutionary Theory) (June 1, 2011). Revista de Economía Institucional, Vol. 13, No. 24, p. 111, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1865257

Orion Lewis (Contact Author)

Middlebury College ( email )

Sven Steinmo

European University Institute ( email )

Villa Schifanoia
133 via Bocaccio
Firenze (Florence), Tuscany 50014
Italy

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