Contemporary articles citing North D (1990) I I Change Ec Perfor

actors, institutional, economic, second, change, historical, institutions, develop, choice, others

Colyvas, Jeannette & Stefan Jonsson. 2011. "Ubiquity and Legitimacy: Disentangling Diffusion and Institutionalization." Sociological Theory. 29:1 27-53. Link
Diffusion and institutionalization are of prime sociological importance, as both processes unfold at the intersections of relations and structures, as well as persistence and change. Yet they are often confounded, leading to theoretical and methodological biases that hinder the development of generalizable arguments. We look at diffusion and institutionalization distinctively, each as both a process and an outcome in terms of three dimensions: the objects that flow or stick; the subjects who adopt or influence; and the social settings through which an innovation travels. We offer examples to flesh out these dimensions, and formulate testable propositions from our analytic framework that could lead to further theoretical refinement and progress.

Abrutyn, Seth. 2009. "Toward a General Theory of Institutional Autonomy." Sociological Theory. 27:4 449-465.
Institutional differentiation has been one of the central concerns of sociology since the days of Auguste Comte. However, the overarching tendency among institutionalists such as Durkheim or Spencer has been to treat the process of differentiation from a macro, ``outside in'' perspective. Missing from this analysis is how institutional differentiation occurs from the ``inside out,'' or through the efforts and struggles of individual and corporate actors. Despite the recent efforts of the ``new institutionalism'' to fill in this gap, a closer look at the literature will uncover the fact that (1) it has tended to conflate macro-level institutions and meso-level organizations and (2) this has led to a taken for granted approach to institutional dynamics. This article seeks to develop a general theory of institutional autonomy; autonomy is a function of the degree to which specialized corporate units are structurally and symbolically independent of other corporate units. It is argued herein that the process by which these ``institutional entrepreneurs'' become independent can explain how institutions become differentiated from the ``inside out.'' Moreover, this article offers five dimensions that can be operationalized, measuring the degree to which institutions are autonomous.

Fligstein, N. 2001. "Social Skill and the Theory of Fields." Sociological Theory. 19:2 105-125. Link
The problem of the relationship between actors and the social structures in which they are embedded is central to sociological theory. This paper suggests that the ``new institutionalist ``focus on fields, domains, or games provides an alternative view of how to think about this problem by focusing on the construction of loca( orders. This paper criticizes the conception of actors in both rational choice and sociological versions of these theories. A more sociological view of action, what is called ``social skill,'' is developed. The idea of social skill originates in symbolic interactionism and is defined as the ability to induct cooperation in others. This idea is elaborated to suggest how actors are important to the construction and reproduction of local orders. I show how, its elements already inform existing work. Finally I show how the idea can sensitize scholars to the role of actors in empirical work.

Hopcroft, RL. 2001. "Theoretical Implications of Regional Effects." Sociological Theory. 19:2 145-164. Link
Local economic institutions (systems of property rights and rules of land use) influenced the course of economic change in European history, as well as state formation and religious change. In this paper, I outline the theoretical implications of these regional effects. None of our existing macrolevel theories and explanations of the ``rise of the West'' can adequately incorporate them, so I present an alternative theory, based on rational choice premises. Yet the existence of these regional effects also highlights the deficiencies of a rational choice theoretical approach. First, the approach is unable to explain historical contexts, institutional legacies, or the effects of timing, which were vital for outcomes of social change but that lie outside the model itself. Second, although it can be very useful, the model of the actor motivated by material self-interest often proved inadequate in historical situations. Solutions are suggested.

NEE, V & P LIAN. 1994. "Sleeping With the Enemy - a Dynamic-model of Declining Political Commitment in State Socialism." Theory and Society. 23:2 253-296. Link

McLean, PD & JF Padgett. 1997. "Was Florence a Perfectly Competitive Market? Transactional Evidence From the Renaissance." Theory and Society. 26:2-3 209-244. Link

Woolcock, M. 1998. "Social Capital and Economic Development: Toward a Theoretical Synthesis and Policy Framework." Theory and Society. 27:2 151-208. Link

Favell, A. 1998. "A Politics That Is Shared, Bounded, and Rooted? Rediscovering Civic Political Culture in Western Europe." Theory and Society. 27:2 209-236. Link

Nee, V & Y Cao. 1999. "Path Dependent Societal Transformation: Stratification in Hybrid Mixed Economies." Theory and Society. 28:6 799-834. Link

Mahoney, J. 2000. "Path Dependence in Historical Sociology." Theory and Society. 29:4 507-548. Link

Guillen, MF. 2003. "The Economic Sociology of Markets, Industries, and Firms." Theory and Society. 32:4 505-515. Link

Svendsen, GLH & GT Svendsen. 2003. "On the Wealth of Nations: Bourdieuconomics and Social Capital." Theory and Society. 32:5-6 607-631. Link
Why are some countries richer than others? We suggest in the line of political economy theory that traditional production factors cannot explain the observed differences. Rather, differences in the quality of formal institutions are crucial to economic wealth. However, this type of political economy theory accentuating the role of formal institutions cannot stand on its own. This implies a socio-economic approach in the study where we supplement the formal institutional thesis with Bourdieu's idea of material and non-material forms of capital. Such new socio-economics - which might be termed a ``Bourdieuconomics'' - implies the usage of a capital theory that, methodologically, operates with material and non-material forms of capital at the same level. Here, we stress the particular importance of a non-material form of capital, namely social capital, which facilitates informal human exchange, thereby ``lubricating'' civic society and the voluntary provision of collective goods such as trust and predictable behavior. In this way, social capital reduces transaction costs in society, thereby enhancing economic growth and the creation of differences in the wealth of nations. Future research should therefore be directed towards analyses of a new and formerly disregarded production factor, social capital, within a new field of socio-economics, namely ``Bourdieuconomics.''

Beckert, Jens. 2009. "The Social Order of Markets." Theory and Society. 38:3 245-269. Link
In this article I develop a proposal for the theoretical vantage point of the sociology of markets, focusing on the problem of the social order of markets. The initial premise is that markets are highly demanding arenas of social interaction, which can only operate if three inevitable coordination problems are resolved. I define these coordination problems as the value problem, the problem of competition and the cooperation problem. I argue that these problems can only be resolved based on stable reciprocal expectations on the part of market actors, which have their basis in the socio-structural, institutional and cultural embedding of markets. The sociology of markets aims to investigate how market action is structured by these macrostructures and to examine their dynamic processes of change. While the focus of economic sociology has been primarily on the stability of markets and the reproduction of firms, the conceptualization developed here brings change and profit motives more forcefully into the analysis. It also differs from the focus of the new economic sociology on the supply side of markets, by emphasizing the role of demand for the order of markets, especially in the discussion of the problems of valuation and cooperation.

Haydu, Jeffrey. 2010. "Reversals of Fortune: Path Dependency, Problem Solving, and Temporal Cases." Theory and Society. 39:1 25-48. Link
Historical reversals highlight a basic methodological problem: is it possible to treat two successive periods both as independent cases to compare for causal analysis and as parts of a single historical sequence? I argue that one strategy for doing so, using models of path dependency, imposes serious limits on explanation. An alternative model which treats successive periods as contrasting solutions for recurrent problems offers two advantages. First, it more effectively combines analytical comparisons of different periods with narratives of causal sequences spanning two or more periods. Second, it better integrates scholarly accounts of historical reversals with actors' own narratives of the past.

Gallo, Carmenza. 2010. "Institutions and the Adoption of Rights: Political and Property Rights in Colombia." Theory and Society. 39:3-4, SI 415-431. Link
Citizenship rights are the result of specific political bargains between different collective actors and state authorities (Tilly Theory and Society 26(34):599-602, 1997). The political bargains for rights are encoded in institutions, and these institutions develop independently from each other and take organizational characteristics that make certain rights easier to adopt than others. I argue that these institutions vary along two dimensions that affect the extent to which states can adopt rights successfully: one dimension is distributional and the second is the depth or extension of the rules that frame a given right. This article focuses on the institutional differences between property rights, especially land property, and political rights, and on the consequences of those differences on their adoption. I then illustrate my argument with examples from Colombia since 1980.

Ermakoff, Ivan. 2010. "Theory of Practice, Rational Choice, and Historical Change." Theory and Society. 39:5 527-553. Link
If we are to believe the proponents of the Theory of Practice and of Rational Choice, the gap between these two paradigmatic approaches cannot be bridged. They rely on ontological premises, theories of motivations and causal models that stand too far apart. In this article, I argue that this theoretical antinomy loses much of its edge when we take as objects of sociological investigation processes of historical change, that is, when we try to specify in theoretical terms how and in which conditions historical actors enact and endorse shifts in patterns of relations as well as shifts in the symbolic and cognitive categories that make these relations significant. I substantiate this argument in light of the distinction between two temporalities of historical change: first, the long waves of gradual change and, second, the short waves of moments of breaks and ruptures. Along the way, I develop an argument about the conditions of emergence of self-limiting norms and the centrality of epistemic beliefs in situations of high disruption.