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The study of institutions has dominated analyses of public policy, not least since the realm of public policy is generally ‘saturated with rules, conventions and norms’ (Palier and Surel, 2005: 10). Nonetheless, it is arguable that institutional analysis has become, if anything, even more important since the 1980s. This can be linked both to progress in state-building and democratization, and to the limits of non-institutionalist forms of analysis. First, as the role of states grew through the twentieth century, so did the penetration of institutions into the economy and society. As March and Olsen (1984: 734) put it, ‘social, political, and economic institutions have become larger, considerably more complex and resourceful, and prima facie more important to collective life’. In addition, whilst during the first half of the twentieth century many studies focused on the prospects for democratization in different nations, from the 1960s onwards the plethora of democratic structures evident within what is now a large number of democratic countries invites more detailed institutional analysis than simply considering shifts from nondemocracy to democracy.
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- Institutions and Public Policies
Dr. Anneliese Dodds
- Macmillan Education UK
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