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By Shiping Tang

Institutional swap is a imperative motive force at the back of social alterations, and therefore a vital subject in all significant fields of social sciences. but, no common concept of institutional swap exists. Drawing from a various literature, this booklet develops a normal concept of institutional swap, according to a social evolutionary synthesis of the clash procedure and the concord procedure. The e-book argues that as the complete technique of institutional switch might be understood as a technique of identifying a number of principles and turning them into associations, pageant of rules and fight for energy to make ideas are usually on the middle of institutional switch. the final thought not just integrates extra particular theories and insights on institutional switch which have been scattered in numerous fields right into a coherent basic conception but in addition presents primary new insights and issues to new instructions for destiny study. This e-book makes a primary contribution to all significant fields of social sciences: sociology (sociological theory), political sciences, institutional economics, and political idea. it may be of normal curiosity to students and scholars in all significant fields of social technology.

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Additional info for A General Theory of Institutional Change (Routledge Studies in the Modern World Economy)

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Despite capturing more social reality than the harmony approach, however, the conflict approach cannot capture the complete picture. It suffers from two deficiencies. g. institutions governing giving gifts among primitive tribes). The second and most fundamental problem is the meta-fact of human progress: the conflict approach cannot cope with this meta-fact without logical self-contradiction. e. any single act of institutional change does not necessarily lead to Pareto-superior/optimal outcomes), then how has human society managed to progress a great deal – which, by implication, means that human societies have at least installed many welfare-improving institutions in some parts of the world?

The second trick is to admit the existence of welfare-decreasing institutions but then leave the phenomenon unexplained. This is the position that North adopted after he half-heartedly gave up the efficiency assumption in 1981 (1981: 201–2). Obviously, this trick gives up on the task of constructing a good theory of institutional change. The third trick is to invent several patches for salvaging the harmony approach, but cure through patches is illusory. g. 4 Unless one can explain why a common ideology comes to diffuse and dominate, one cannot explain institutional change endogenously.

As such, in both North’s and Knight’s frameworks, institutional change is still driven exogenously. Unless there is a shift in the distribution of power or a more powerful ideology emerges among agents, there will not be institutional change. Meanwhile, the main problem of the conflict approach is that the paradigm has a marginal, if any, place for the attractiveness of ideas,13 despite different ideas having different attractiveness, which is not to be confused with physical power (Young 1991).

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