Governing Through Institution Building: Institutional Theory And Recent European Experiments In…

Hardcover | October 9, 2010

byJohan P. Olsen

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Many reformers argue that the future of democracies depends on the quality of their political institutions. If so, it may be worthwhile examining the democratic-instrumental vision of citizens and their representatives - which assumes that they can and should decide how they might be organizedand governed - and thereby develop a better theoretical understanding of the nature, architecture, dynamics of change, performance, and effects of institutions.It may be useful to study the possibilities and limitations of governing through deliberately changing institutional arrangements and thereby achieving intended, anticipated and desired effects - including how institutions contribute to organized rule, orderly change, civilized co-existence, unityin diversity and the ability to accommodate and continuously balance rather than eliminate what John Stuart Mill called "standing antagonisms".This book offers an organization-theory-based institutional approach and it assumes that a fruitful route to improved understanding of political organization and government is to observe large-scale institutional reforms. The primary source of insight is the grand experiment in political integrationthrough institution building and polity formation in Europe - the European Union. Yet, the book relates to century-long controversies concerning what is good government and how best to organize common affairs. The main challenge is to examine the claim that theoretical ideas and concepts developedin the context of the sovereign state are outdated in the context of the emerging European polity and a globalized world and to analyze what students of political institutions, as well as citizens, can learn from recent European experiments in democratic organization and government.

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Many reformers argue that the future of democracies depends on the quality of their political institutions. If so, it may be worthwhile examining the democratic-instrumental vision of citizens and their representatives - which assumes that they can and should decide how they might be organizedand governed - and thereby develop a better...

Johan P. Olsen is Professor Emeritus, Former and Founding Director of ARENA - Centre for European Studies at the University of Oslo, Professor of Public Administration and Organization Theory at the University of Bergen, Professor of Political Science at the University of Oslo, Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Irvine ...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.82 inPublished:October 9, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199593930

ISBN - 13:9780199593934

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Table of Contents

Preface and acknowledgementsPart I: Introduction1. A Democratic Vision and Some ComplicationsPart II: A Grand Experiment in Institution Building and Poliy Formation2. Lessons in Political Organization from European Integration?Part III: Three Unifying Controversies in the Study of Political Organization3. Change and Continuity4. Central Authority and Institutional Autonomy5. Bureaucracy - An Instrument for Whom and for What Purpose?Part IV: Epilogue6. Political Science: Architectonic Discipline or Academic Carrefour?BibliograpyIndex