Causality and Time in Historical Institutionalism


This chapter explores the dual concern with causality and time in historical-institutionalism using a graphical approach. Conceptualizing causes as filters, the chapter analyses three concepts that are central to this field: critical junctures, gradual change, and path dependence. The analysis makes explicit and formal the logic underlying studies that use these “causal-temporal” concepts. The chapter shows visually how causality and temporality are linked to one another in varying ways depending on the particular pattern of change. Through this unifying visual grammar, the chapter also outlines an approach that can accommodate and reconcile both models of critical junctures and gradual change. The chapter provides new tools for describing and understanding change in historical institutional analyses.

The Oxford Handbook of Historical Institutionalism