Ramsay R.-Mythical Thinking in the political class

Although most political sociologists and political scientists nowadays either consider themselves or are deemed “institutionalists,” key differences remain among major schools of institutionalism (see reviews in Pierson and Skocpol 2002; Amenta 2005).

In this chapter, we review sociological institutionalism, historical institutionalism, and political institutionalism. We discuss their similarities and differences, theoretical and methodological insights, research gains, analytical problems, and prospects for the study of politics. To focus our discussion, we mainly consider research regarding the development of public policy, the terrain on which many advances in political sociology and political science have taken place and an occasional battleground for these approaches.