Knill, Christoph. and Lenschow, Andrea. (1999) “‘Where You Stand Depends on Where You Sit!’ Linking Different Perspectives on Institutional Change”. In: UNSPECIFIED, Pittsburgh, PA. (Unpublished)
We argue that, despite and-paradoxically-even because of their theoretical variance, different approaches provide complementary rather than competing explanations, since they tend to focus on different aspects of the same empirical phenomenon. Confirming Allison’s important insight from the early 1970s, we observe that they evaluate the same development from different analytical levels, applying different scales to measure institutional change. The detection of path-dependent developments by one approach and revolutionary transformations by the other must therefore not necessarily reflect theoretical contradiction. It may well be linked in a complementary way, if different analytical levels are explicitly taken into account. In short, variances in theoretical assumptions and expectations, when linked to distinctive analytical levels for the evaluation of institutional change, are no obstacles for the integration of institutional approaches, but even favor complementary explanations.
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