Logics of Action and Models of Capitalism: Explaining Bottom-Up Non-Liberal Change
29 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2012 Last revised: 16 Jan 2013
Date Written: December 5, 2012
Recent institutionalist scholarship has established links between the liberalization or “disorganization” of capitalism and shifts in economic actors’ “logic of action” towards opportunism. Yet, a more general theoretical treatment of “logics of actions” and their links to specific institutional contexts is lacking. This paper proposes to link a theory distinguishing three “logics of action” – opportunism, enlightened self-interest and strong solidarity – to Höpner’s typology of capitalist institutions – organized, coordinated, and liberal. It theorizes the interactions between these logics and the social mechanism – goal signaling – that can explain a shift from one logic of action to another, potentially leading to change from one type of institution to another. An empirical example shows that such a theory furthers our understanding of the micro-foundations not just of liberalization, but also of the contrary evolution, i.e. the (re-)embedding of capitalism.
Keywords: banking sector, institutional change, actor-centered institutionalism, political economy, logics of action
JEL Classification: P16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation