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Challenging Institutional Analysis and Development

The Bloomington School

By Paul Dragos Aligica, Peter J. Boettke

Routledge – 2009 – 168 pages

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    May 21st 2009
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Challenging Institutional Analysis and Development demonstrates the importance of one of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economics winners Elinor Ostrom's research program. The Bloomington School has become one of the most dynamic, well recognized and productive centers of the New Institutional Theory movement. Its ascendancy is considered to be the result of a unique and extremely successful combination of interdisciplinary theoretical approaches and hard-nosed empiricism. This book demonstrates that the well-known interdisciplinary and empirical agenda of the Bloomington Research Program is the result of a less-known but very bold proposition: an attempt to revitalize and extend into the new millennium a traditional mode of analysis illustrated by authors like Locke, Montesquieu, Hume, Adam Smith, Hamilton, Madison and Tocqueville. As such, the School tries to synthesize the traditional perspectives with the contemporary developments in social sciences and thus to re-ignite the old approach in the new intellectual and political context of the twentieth century.

The book presents an outline and a systematic analysis of the vision behind the Bloomington Research Program in Institutional Analysis and Development, explaining its basic assumptions and its main themes as well as the foundational philosophy that frames its research questions and theoretical and methodological approaches.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of social science, especially those in the fields of economics, political sciences, sociology and public administration.


Aligica and Boettke’s book provides a systematic account of the roots and contributions of the Bloomington School, one of the most insightful research programs in institutional analysis, whose results are more pertinent than ever on the face of the current drive for statist solutions to the economic crisis. Benito Arruñada, Pompeu Fabra University, Spain

Paul Aligica and Peter Boettke have done an outstanding job of describing the spirit and the reality of several decades of theoretical and empirical research on institutional analysis. They have successfully captured how words express ideas and the language of human development. Generations of future scholars will appreciate reading this book! Elinor Ostrom and Vincent Ostrom, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, USA

This book is a marvellous piece of work on the nature of social sciences, the disciplinary boundaries between economics, political science and sociology, and the relationship between theory and practice in contemporary research. Filippo Sabetti, McGill University, USA


Introduction Part 1: From Metropolitan Reform to a Theory of Governance Systems: The Origins and Main Themes of the Bloomington Research Program 1. Political Economy, Polycentricity and the Metropolitan Reform Debate 2. Crossing the Great Divide: The Nature of Public Economies Part 2: The "Human Condition" and the Foundations of Social Order: Elements of a Social Philosophy of Institutionalism 3. Knowledge and Institutions: Developing a Social Philosophy of Institutional Order and Change 4. Ideas, Language and Meaning: Ontological and Epistemological Foundations of Institutional Order and Institutional Analysis Part 3: The Bloomington School in its Intellectual Context: A Family of Themes and Schools of Thought 5. Competing Disciplines, Methodological Divides and Emerging Research Agendas: The Bloomington School in its Interdisciplinary Setting 6. Public Policy Analysis, Public Choice and the Old "New Science of Politics" Conclusions: A Science of Association, a Science of Citizenship, a Science of Liberty. Postscript:Rethinking Institutional Analysis and Development. Dialogues with Vincent and Elinor Ostrom

Author Bio

Paul Dragos Aligica is a Senior Fellow at the Mercatus Center and a Faculty Fellow at the James Buchanan Center at George Mason University, USA.

Peter J. Boetkke is the BB&T Professor for the Study of Capitalism at the Mercatus Center, and a University Professor of Economics at George Mason University, USA.

Name: Challenging Institutional Analysis and Development: The Bloomington School (Paperback)Routledge 
Description: By Paul Dragos Aligica, Peter J. Boettke. Challenging Institutional Analysis and Development demonstrates the importance of one of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economics winners Elinor Ostrom's research program. The Bloomington School has become one of the most dynamic, well recognized and...
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