Elites and Institutional Persistence

Abstract

Particular sets of institutions, once they become established in a society, have a strong tendency to persist. In this paper I argue that understanding how elites form and reproduce is key to understanding the persistence of institutions over time. I illustrate this idea with a simple political economy theory of institutions and through examples from Liberia, the US, South Africa and Germany I show how elites influence institutions. To change institutions requires having an understanding of how reforms influence the preferences, capabilities and strategies of elites.

Citation

Robinson, J.A. Elites and Institutional Persistence. UNU-WIDER, Helsinki, Finland (2010) 30 pp. ISBN 978-92-9230-323-5 [WIDER Working Paper No. 2010/85]

Elites and Institutional Persistence

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