paul dragos aligica and peter b oet tke What happens if, instead of the typical approach that gives a position of preeminence to institutional theory and considers institutional design an extension of peripheral interest, we start by focusing on institutional design and we consider institutional theory in the light of its instrumental value to design? Elinor and Vincent Ostrom's work is a case-study giving many clues and some possible answers to this question. Their approach is well-known for aiming not so much at grand theory building but rather at specific problems of collective action, governance, and social dilemmas. Making the practical and applied dimension the starting point as well as the filter of our interest reveals a different configuration of concepts marking and linking the practice-to-theory continuum. And it is perhaps surprising, but definitely noteworthy, that the notion of ideas-driven social change emerges as crucial. An approach to institutionalism from an applied angle in no way lessens the role of ideas and theory. On the contrary, it puts them in an enhanced, preeminent position. What else is institutional design if not ideas for action and ideas applied to practice? The process of institutional design, based as it is
The Good Society – Penn State University Press
Published: Sep 28, 2011
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