Jack Knight, Itai Sened

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The nature & implications of the political economy/rational choice approach to institutional analysis are discussed in an introduction to a collection of essays explaining social institutions (each abstracted). Institutions are characterized as either formal or informal, based on the presence of legal backing & the provision of legal authority by the state. The rational choice framework of institutional analysis allows consideration of issues such as power, social context, history, community values, ideology, & social norms. Institutions influence social outcomes by establishing the rules of social interaction, which are enforced through (1) the provision of information concerning the available choices of social actors, & (2) the threat of sanctions in the event of noncompliance. Social institutions determine social expectations & beliefs, thereby impacting social life. The insights of the contributions are briefly reviewed. T. Sevier
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExplaining Social Institutions
EditorsJack Knight, Itai Sened
PublisherUniversity of Michigan Press
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)0472105884
StatePublished - 1995


  • institutional analysis, political economy/rational choice approach
  • Political Economy
  • Methodology (Philosophical)
  • Organizational Research
  • Institutions
  • Rational Choice
  • bookitem
  • 0624: complex organization; bureaucratic structure/organizational sociology


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