New Institutionalist Approaches to Governance: Contested Complementarities’

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


Governance studies have a strong link to the emergence of new institutional perspectives. They share
plenty of features from the questions they ask to the language they employ, a similarity which perhaps
inspired the eclectic application of multiple frameworks. The benefits of combining interdisciplinary
insights in policy analysis is obvious, as Elinor Ostrom’s famous thesis suggests (Ostrom 1990).
However, this chapter debates the complementarity between all of these institutionalist approaches
and sets out the boundaries within which such a complementarity becomes possible. It argues that
some theories are supplementary while others have such fundamental contradictions that their
blending becomes impossible. Each theory has underlying assumptions regarding two important
ontological debates: the dilemma of structure and agency, and the debate on the ontology of the
group versus the ontology of the individual. These ontological differences entail a divergence of the
core logics of new institutionalisms, which strongly impacts the way we imagine and practice
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolitical Science and Public Policy 2022
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781789908756
ISBN (Print)9781789908749
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2022


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