Sociological Institutionalism

Links » Historical Institutionalism | Rational Choice Institutionalism | Notes on: Political Science and the Three New Institutionalisms (Hall & Taylor 1996)


1970s organizational literature

(Thick) Definition

Institutions as social structures composed of cultural-cognitive, normative, and regulative elements that provide stability and meaning to social life.


  • Explaining isomorphism, i.e. the process of different organisations becoming more similar over time, and decoupling, i.e. the difference between formal policies and actual organizational practices


  • Why do organisations become more similar over time (and not necessarily more efficient)?
    • organisations strive for legitimacy. Institutional pressures make organisations adopt the “rationalised myths” (design prescriptions) of their environments through coercive, mimetic, and normative pressures.



Graduate Student in International Relations, System Hacker at the FSFE

I am interested in all the ways computer technology reconfigures the political landscape.