IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Historical Institutionalism in International Relations


  • Fioretos, Orfeo


This article reviews recent contributions to International Relations (IR) that engage the substantive concerns of historical institutionalism and explicitly and implicitly employ that tradition's analytical features to address fundamental questions in the study of international affairs. It explores the promise of this tradition for new research agendas in the study of international political development, including the origin of state preferences, the nature of governance gaps, and the nature of change and continuity in the international system. The article concludes that the analytical and substantive profiles of historical institutionalism can further disciplinary maturation in IR, and it proposes that the field be more open to the tripartite division of institutional theories found in other subfields of Political Science.

Suggested Citation

  • Fioretos, Orfeo, 2011. "Historical Institutionalism in International Relations," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 367-399, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:65:y:2011:i:02:p:367-399_00

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to article abstract page
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Hanrieder, Tine, 2015. "The path-dependent design of international organizations: Federalism in the World Health Organization," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 215-239.
    2. Yoram Z. Haftel & Alexander Thompson, 2018. "When do states renegotiate investment agreements? The impact of arbitration," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 25-48, March.
    3. Bernhard Zangl & Frederick Heußner & Andreas Kruck & Xenia Lanzendörfer, 2016. "Imperfect adaptation: how the WTO and the IMF adjust to shifting power distributions among their members," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 171-196, June.
    4. Laurent Warlouzet, 2016. "The Centralization of EU Competition Policy: Historical Institutionalist Dynamics from Cartel Monitoring to Merger Control (1956–91)," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 725-741, May.
    5. Federico Steinberg & Mattias Vermeiren, 2016. "Germany's Institutional Power and the EMU Regime after the Crisis: Towards a Germanized Euro Area?," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2), pages 388-407, March.
    6. Henning Schmidtke, 2019. "Elite legitimation and delegitimation of international organizations in the media: Patterns and explanations," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 633-659, December.
    7. Till Pistorius & Sabine Reinecke & Astrid Carrapatoso, 2017. "A historical institutionalist view on merging LULUCF and REDD+ in a post-2020 climate agreement," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 17(5), pages 623-638, October.
    8. Michael W. Manulak, 2017. "Leading by design: Informal influence and international secretariats," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 497-522, December.
    9. Magnus Lundgren & Theresa Squatrito & Jonas Tallberg, 2018. "Stability and change in international policy-making: A punctuated equilibrium approach," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 547-572, December.
    10. Furness, Mark, 2018. "Strategic policymaking and the German aid programme in the MENA region since the Arab uprisings," Discussion Papers 5/2018, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE).
    11. Michael W. Manulak, 2020. "A bird in the hand: Temporal focal points and change in international institutions," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 1-27, January.
    12. Jeffrey M. Chwieroth, 2014. "Controlling Capital: The International Monetary Fund and Transformative Incremental Change from Within International Organisations," New Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 445-469, May.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:65:y:2011:i:02:p:367-399_00. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.