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
In their theoretical introduction to the workshop
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
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
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
raises manyinteresting theoretical questions. Following the institutionalisation process over sev-eral decades he also hints at the importance of institutional relations mentioned be-low.
Please note: For reasons of space only the more mature papers are mentioned in this report.