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In Introduction: Explaining History – Neo-Institutionalism in Perspective


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  • Oliver Volckart

    (Institute of Economic History, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London, UK)


Starting out from the hypothesis that apart from New Institutional Economics, Marxism is the branch of social theory which analyses most important economic developments in the context of social, legal and constitutional history, this essay compares the basic structures of the explanations advanced by Marxist and neo-institutionalist historians. It claims that both approaches are fraught with problems: Marxist explanations are lacking essential structural components, while institutionalist explanations are based on nomological hypothesis which have been falsified. The paper suggests that while the problems besetting Marxist explanations probably cannot be solved, the construction of historical models makes it possible to overcome the difficulties which Neo-Institutionalism is facing.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Institute of SocioEconomics in its journal Homo Oeconomicus.

Volume (Year): 21 (2004)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages: 1-20

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Handle: RePEc:hom:homoec:v:21:y:2004:p:1-20

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