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ws5

ws5

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Published by: Oxony20 on Feb 14, 2013
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Report on Workshop No 5:Institutional Theory: Issues of Measurement and Change’
by Uwe Serdült 
General points, atmosphere
The workshop was characterized by a good mix of scholars regarding seniority, gen-der and regional distribution. We had lively and fair discussions, tolerating other re-search paradigms (qualitative vs. quantitative, theoretical vs. empirical etc.). Unfortu-nately, for personal reasons Guy Peters was not able to attend the workshop.
Presentation of papers and discussion
1
 In their theoretical introduction to the workshop
Christensen 
and
Peters 
gave anoverview of the dynamics between three different forms of institutional change. Theyargue that institutional change is difficult to control by means of ‘rational’ institutionaldesign and that normative as well as ideational basis of political life need to be takeninto account.Birth and Decay of Institutions
Boin 
and
Kofman-Bos 
demonstrate that the problem for newly created institutions isto develop trust and legitimacy, a rather weak point in institutional theories. Auton-omy, Reliability and Crisis management capacity are the factors most likely in orderto promote institutionalisation processes.In her case study on the DG DEV of the European Commission
Dimier 
managed togive a detailed account of a de-institutionalising organisation. The same mechanismthat brought this organisation to the fore – strong personal networks around its direc-tor – were responsible for its death in the environment of a bureaucratising EU.In his detailed empirical case study about the Italian Parliament
Capano 
raises manyinteresting theoretical questions. Following the institutionalisation process over sev-eral decades he also hints at the importance of institutional relations mentioned be-low.
1
Please note: For reasons of space only the more mature papers are mentioned in this report.
 
Public Administration and Administrative Reforms
Ronness 
aimed at connecting Normative Institutionalism and Garbage Can Model.He argued that structural features and the decision-making process have an influ-ence on the outcome of administrative reform. In the empirical part he investigatesthe reaction of unions on NPM and vice versa in Australia, New Zealand, Swedenand Norway.Employing the concepts of ‘critical junctures’ and ‘critical moments’
Burch 
,
Hogwood 
 and
Bulmer 
set the stage for evaluating the nature and degree of institutional changein the case of a devolving UK.Quantitative analysis of institutions
Giraud 
linked Institutionalism with Policy Analysis by applying the policy style frame-work to the implementation of labour market policies in Swiss Federalism with quanti-tative data. Furthermore he discussed the relevance of ideas within rational choice,sociological and historical institutionalism.In her thorough effort to review and compare different veto-player indexes measuringthe institutional design of democracies
Roller 
shows which indexes are of dubiousquality and should therefore be avoided. For most cases there are parsimonious andvalid indexes at hand.
Johannsen 
and
Norgaard 
presented their work on the Index of Presidential Authorityapplying it to an impressive list of 96 countries around the globe. They find that ex-ecutive authority around the world shows a much more puzzling picture than the tra-ditional dichotomy of presidential versus parliamentary political systems.Institutional relations as an emerging themeIn an empirical investigation including 21 OECD countries
Harfst 
and
Schnapp 
testwhether the parliaments formal and informal resources are able to monitor the execu-tive. Their analysis is a step toward more integrated institutional studies focusingmore on the relations between institutions than a quantitative description of institu-tions without taking into account their interdependence.Departing from the concept of executive-legislative arrangements
Krouwel 
and
de Raadt 
show how conflict over institutional design in seven East European countries isdriven by key political actors who are trying to change the rules of the polity for theirown benefit.

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