Advanced Introduction to Theories in the Social Sciences II: Theories of Institutional Change and Stability
SPS/04 - Polticial Science
Questions of policy and institutional change have long occupied economists, political scientists and sociologists. The purpose of this course is to examine several explanations of change in the social sciences with particular attention to the mechanisms through which institutions evolve over time. Classes are loosely organized around the three main strands of institutional analysis, namely rational choice institutionalism, sociological institutionalism, and historical institutionalism. In addition, we will use scholarship on contemporary puzzles to examine how and the extent to which these alternative theories have been combined to provide thorough accounts of political bahaviour and institutional change.
The course is articulated into seven seminars . For each of the meetings, students are required toadopt a pro-active stance based on all the reading of all articles in the reading list. In particular, students are invited to discuss and reflect on the core theoretical assumptions that underpin distinct theories of (and approaches to) institutional change as well as on the relative strengths and weaknesses of each theories with respect to their empirical applications. Further details on class format and expectations will be provided during the first meeting.