The deceptive juncture: The temptation of attractive explanations and the reality of political life
2009 (English)In: The evolution of path dependence / [ed] Lars Magnusson and Jan Ottosson, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar , 2009, 108-138 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
This book chapter discusses path dependence theory in relation to analysis of political processes, suggesting that path dependence explanations are only sometimes helpful, but often overlook critical features of political life. We argue that a path dependence approach has to take into account rational actors in a broader way, and in so doing would make a great difference. Furthermore, we discuss the nature of chance, whether it is continuous or non-contiguous, exogenous or endogenous, common or rare, and propose that this part of the theory should be more elaborated. Accordingly, this has consequences for how we view one of the corner stones of path dependence: In our view, there are good reasons to be more careful about singling out critical junctures. We illustrate our position with three empirical cases often used in path dependence discussions. These three cases are examples of central components of the Swedish model; its comprehensive welfare state, the extensive integration of interest groups into public policy, and the very co-ordinated wage-bargaining system. We conclude with a discussion about methods that are suitable for understanding stability and change. However, before doing that, we review some of the recent path dependence studies and take a closer look at the ideas that have transitioned from economics.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cheltenham: Edward Elgar , 2009. 108-138 p.
, New Horizons in Institutional and Evolutionary Economics
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-131553ISBN: 978 1 84376 137 2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-131553DiVA: diva2:355023