Neo-statecraft theory, historical institutionalism and institutional change

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This article provides a critical examination of the contribution that statecraft theory, which has been subject to recent revision and development, makes to the literature on institutional change. It articulates an emergent neo-statecraft approach that offers an agent-led form of historical institutionalism. This overcomes the common criticism that historical institutionalists underplay the creative role of actors. The article also argues that the approach brings back into focus the imperatives of electoral politics as a source of institutional change and provides a macro theory of change which is also commonly missing from historical institutionalist work. It can therefore identify previously unnoticed sources of stability and change, especially in states with strong executives and top-down political cultures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-110
Number of pages27
JournalGovernment and Opposition
Issue number01
Early online date17 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

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