Douglass North's Theory of Politics
Perspectives on Politics, Forthcoming
14 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2016
Date Written: December 9, 2016
Few social scientists have equaled the impact on political science of Douglass C. North, co-winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1993. His extraordinary influence emanated from his ideas but was also a result of his vast social network of collaborators, students, and friendly critics. North was at the forefront of four revolutions in economics and political economy.
1. The New Economic History;
2. The “property rights” revolution;
3. The New Institutional Economics; and
4. Cognitive science.
North explicitly brought issues of political science into the second through fourth revolution. He became a major leader in historical and comparative political science, and in the study of institutions more generally. His work proved particularly relevant for those interested in questions of state-building, state variation, and long-term secular change.
Keywords: Institutions, politics, comparative political science, new institutional economics, cognitive science
JEL Classification: D72, D74, D78, A12, H11, H12, K11, N11, N13, N41, N44, O1
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