On the pendular character of the State

Image: Pieter Bruegel


Institutions, interests and ideologies

In the 2002th and XNUMXth centuries, as Albert Hirschman (XNUMX) explains, interdisciplinary barriers did not exist, and philosophers and political economists could roam freely and speculate uninhibitedly about the “probable consequences of commercial expansion for peace” or of “industrial growth for peace”. freedom". It was in this perspective that the aforementioned author discussed “passions and interests”, as “political arguments in favor of capitalism before its triumph”. For him, a return to the thoughts and speculations of the intellectual representatives of those centuries could contribute to reducing our own intellectual poverty induced by the specialization of the field of study of economic science.

Passions were considered destructive in the XNUMXth century: "pride, envy and greed are the three sparks that set men's hearts on fire"[1]. For this reason, the idea arose of harnessing men's passions to make them work towards the general well-being, skilfully inciting one passion to fight another, in what became known as the principle of compensatory passion.[2]. However, which passions would be designated to have the dominant function? To answer this question, it would be necessary to combine the idea of ​​compensatory passions with the doctrine of interest (the term “interest” was born with a positive and healing connotation derived from a close association with the idea of ​​a more enlightening way of conducting human affairs. , private and public).

The belief that interest could be considered a dominant motive in human behavior caused considerable intellectual excitement in the seventeenth century. As Hirschman (2002) clarifies, the idea of ​​interest has become a real novelty, assuming the dimension of a paradigm (doctrine of interest), with most of human action suddenly being explained by self-interest: “[...] the passions were impetuous and dangerous, whereas pursuing their material interests was innocent or, as it would be said today, innocuous.”[3]. A more general property of interest is related to predictability and consequently to the constancy produced in human relationships: “[...] there is an advantage for others in their pursuit of their interest, as their conduct thus becomes transparent and predictable almost as if he was an entirely virtuous person.”[4].

“Predictability in its most elemental form is constancy, and it is this quality that was perhaps the most important foundation for welcoming a world governed by interest. The erratic and unstable character of most passionate behavior has often been emphasized and has been considered one of its most objectionable and dangerous aspects.[5].

The Renaissance provided a new look at the State, represented by concerns about improving the art of governing. From this perspective, the State, since absolutism, represents a central institution in the processes of transformation (development of capitalism).

There was also a transition from the concept of the ruler's interest to the interests of various groups among the ruled. At first, in its original context, the doctrine of interest produced the concept of balance of power in the art of governing and, at a later moment, extended to society as a whole, resulting in a vision of the advantages that the presence of a variety of of interests and a certain tension between them for the public interest. In England, for example, this concept later became the “national interest”. In this way, predictability and constancy provided the idea that interests could, by eliminating “passionate” behavior and complying with the rules of the game, derive gains in all directions.

In the interpretation of Hirschman (2002), the concept of interest, the development of trade and the establishment of capitalism, owed much to a desperate search for a way to avoid the ruin of society, permanently threatened at the time because of precarious provisions both internally and externally. There was no idea what capitalism would come to represent. In this sense, the political arguments in favor of capitalism, that is, the expectation of great benefits served to a great extent to facilitate certain social decisions towards the consolidation of that form of social organization. The big issue is that the intended effects (the big benefits) were not realized and the idea that men in pursuit of their interests would be harmless was abandoned when the reality of capitalist development presented itself.

From the appreciation of the doctrine of interest and the relationship between the intended and realized or unrealized effects of social decisions (as well as the unintended but realized effects), a first emerged insight on this topic: the assumption that interests, systematized as ideology, can contribute to bringing the intended effects closer to the realized effects. This is so in a positive sense, when a political group assumes the leading role in a development project. As well as in the negative sense, when the State is assumed by groups that tend more to social, political and economic polarization, than to an inclusive development project.

The positive sense represents a modality of political development: transformative political development[6]. To understand it, it is necessary to resort to the understanding of decision-making processes, economic ideas, styles of problem solving and, the links between political change and economic change, all relevant to the formation of development strategies. This is because political institutions are decisive factors in the formation process of economic policies and economic plans become more intelligible when integrated into political analysis, according to Sola (1998). In turn, political processes presuppose an appreciation of the underlying ideologies, which contain the vital interests of social groups and are always being questioned in each political round.

In this sense, sectional interests come to be understood as the vehicle of social and political change. And only when one can point to the group or groups that effected the change can one also explain how that change came about. As Polanyi (2000, p. 186) states: “[…] the 'challenge' is for society as a whole; the 'answer' arrives through groups, sections and classes[…].” Therefore, this work is about rescuing the political and ideological dimensions of growth; in terms of the deepening of certain trajectories or exits from a situation of lock in.

Therefore, institutional and political change and its ramifications represent the various dimensions of economic development. An institutionalist political economy should direct our efforts towards an autonomous development project. This necessarily needs to incorporate in its analytical field and in a relational way the State, public policies, firms, technical progress and institutions. The central idea here is that institutions should not be seen as something on a higher level than public policies, as if institutions totally condition policies. Institutions and public policies are complementary. In other words, it is a problem of coordination and complementarity. In other words, it has to do with the degree of institutionalization of society, the organization of society into large groups, the promotion of ideologies, the complementary coordination of investment decisions and the realization that governments can learn and policies evolve.

Ideologies and interests

“Power can be socially evil; but it is also socially essential. It is necessary to judge him, but it will certainly not be possible to apply a general judgment to all power.” Galbraith

The importance of ideologies for the formation and permanence of institutions should not be minimized, despite constituting a difficult field even for sociologists. It must be considered that ideologies can intervene for or against greater institutional instrumentality.

“[…] Its importance can be summarized in the fact that ideology is clearly a precondition for the action of various agents in the world. That is, the various agents will logically depend on the way they apprehend this world in their attempts to act on it, both from the interpretation of what must be done and in the definition of the way in which one must act to achieve certain intended results”. (STRACHMAN, 2000, p. 121)

In general, there is an important interrelationship between institutions and ideologies. Institutions and, particularly, the State seek to create, prior to their actions, ideologies that justify them. And even after being successful in some objective, they generate new ideologies that legitimize them. Therefore, “the transmission of the meaning of an institution is based on the social recognition of that institution as a “permanent” solution to a “permanent” problem of the given collectivity”[7]. It is this characteristic that allows, for example, the re-election of a certain politician, who in turn represents a political party and its project of political action. In other words, ideologies play a dual role: both justifying (passive dimension) and transforming (active dimension) established economic processes.

Over time, the structure of a society determines its functioning and outcomes, characterized by economic and political institutions, technology, population and underlying ideology. With this assertion, North begins his 1984 book: Structure and change in economic history. His main concern is to theorize about the structure of economies and account for stability and change in these structures. This is because, according to their justification, the analytical instruments used by economic historians were not able to explain central issues of economies over time, such as the institutional structure underlying the functioning of an economic system and their respective transformations that lead to the rise or to the decline of societies. The author's hypothesis is that political organizations and ideology are the fundamental ingredients (essential) in explaining institutional changes and their respective economic developments.

North's fundamental thesis is that the security of property rights has been a critical determinant of the rate of saving and capital formation. However, “[…] but the fact that the growth has been more exceptional than the stagnation or the slope, suggest to us that the 'efficient' property rights have not been the usual thing in history […]”[8]. This is because, in a world where most decisions are taken outside the market, inefficient political structures survive for long periods of time. In turn, these inefficient political and, it should be added, economic structures make the existence of rival ideologies a fundamental issue for understanding economic history.

To decipher the structure of society, North focuses his work on building a theory of institutions, which is based on:

“1 – A theory of property rights that describes the individual and social incentives of the system.

2 – A theory of the State, since it is the State that specifies and respects the rights of ownership.

3 – A theory that explains how different perceptions of reality influence the reaction of individuals to changing 'objective' situations”.[9]

Polanyi (2000), in turn, observes that class interests[10] they offer only a limited explanation for the long-term movements of society. For the author, the opportunities of the classes in “struggle” will depend on their abilities to gain support outside their own collectivity, which in turn will depend on the possibility of executing the tasks established by interests broader than their own: “[ …] the challenge is for society as a whole; the 'answer' arrives through groups, sections and classes”.[11] Or, as Bourdieu (2004, p. 188) states, “[…] the political man derives his political strength from the trust that a group places in him.”

For Bourdieu (2004), society is defined as a system of relations where each element brings a contribution to the whole. So that it is necessary to classify the social phenomena according to different categories that, in the last analysis, correspond to the different types of institutional arrangement. And in this space, ideologies define or blur social categories, stabilize or break social expectations, maintain or weaken social norms, strengthen or weaken social consensus, and alleviate or exacerbate social tensions. All depending on the existing level of correlation between the domain of structures and the domain of practices, expressed by the author through the concept of habitus, or systems of durable dispositions, structured structures predisposed to function as structuring structures. that is, the habitus it constitutes a generating principle that imposes a durable scheme and, nevertheless, is flexible enough to allow regulated improvisations.

More specifically, this approach brings another concept that goes beyond North's analysis, by incorporating political practice through the concept of “symbolic field”. This expressed in diverse regional fields of symbolic production that derive their relative autonomy from groups of specialized agents. Therefore, a less restricted concept than that of class and that allows the incorporation of political practice in theory as a process of transformation of social relations, given into new social relations, produced, in turn, by political instruments.

In conclusion, power relations constitute a fundamental element as a principle of double relationship (structuring and structured) that contributes decisively to understanding the direction taken by economic processes throughout history. In a word, economic society cannot emerge as something separate from the political state, transformation implies a change in the motivation for action on the part of society's members. Only within a given political framework is it possible to formulate the question of wealth, as emphasized by Polanyi (2000).

A view of institutions beyond the traditional view

Everyone recognizes that institutions are fundamental to economic change (as well as to maintaining stability), but despite the resurgence of institutionalism, both within and outside economic thought, over the last 40 years, there is still no satisfactory theory of institutions and their economic effects[12].

Chang and Evans (2000), in their article The Role of Institutions in Economic Change, start from case studies, specifically the treatment of the Korean developmental State and the World Trade Organization (WTO), to propose some 'robust' propositions about the causes and consequences that institutional change must contain, that is, they incorporate in the institutional analysis cases not handled by North. These authors aim to reach assumptions beyond these cases, that is, to promote a more adequate view of how institutions shape behavior and economic outcomes. The analysis of the article is restricted here to the Korean developmental state, given the objectives of this research and which, according to the authors, condenses a particular institutional form[13], the developmental State: institution in particular that played a decisive role in the relative transformation of national economic growth trajectories during the XNUMXth century.

Traditional economic theory failed to predict the economic rise of East Asian countries because it did not retain the basis for the possibility of anticipating the following fact: that institutional transformations in the public sector could change the set of private incentives of these countries to a dynamic pattern. of industrial accumulation. (CHANG and EVANS, 2000, p. 3)

In an expanded form, the argument of the previous paragraph can be put as follows:

“The examples of Southeast Asian countries demonstrate to society that contemporary comparative advantages are built, with elements such as labor education, articulated strategies between the State and local business community, negotiation with foreign capital and specific sectoral policies, oriented by a vision of structure in constant mutation towards more technology-intensive sectors”.[14]

The proposal by Chang and Evans (2000) has two objectives. First, that of building a view of institutions beyond the traditional view that sees them as restrictions, in the words of the authors: as impediments to the natural functioning of markets (it is necessary, in their view, to analyze institutions also as mechanisms capable of (enable), of achieving economic goals, and perhaps more importantly, as constituting (constitutive), interests and worldviews of economic actors). The second is to develop a more systematic and general way to understand how institutions are formed and how they change over time. For this purpose they reject both the functionalist view, in which institutions must be “efficient” or otherwise should not exist, and the instrumentalist view, in which institutions are created and transformed through powerful exogenous interests.[15]. They suggest, then, a moreculturalist” of institutions, a perspective from which institutional change depends on the combination of a base of interests and cultural/ideological projects, in which the “world view” of actors can shape interests and vice versa.

To build this theory, the authors propose to divide institutional approaches into two large groups and their subdivisions. The first is called by the authors of efficiency-driven and the second of interest-based. The first has three subgroups: the most simplistic version, optimality of institutions; an intermediate version, path dependency recognized; and a more sophisticated version, the role of “culture” recognized. The second also has three subgroups: the most simplified version, neoclassical political economy; the intermediary, structured-interest-based; and the most sophisticated, culture-based structured-interest.

In the most simplistic version of the “efficiency” driven institution, institutions emerge when the market mechanism fails to allow the realization of their full potential. In this “paglossian” view, all existing institutions are efficient. Therefore, if any institution that is capable of increasing efficiency in a given context does not exist, it is only because the transaction costs involved in its construction are greater than the benefits that this institution can bring.[16]. Chang and Evans (2000), state that this approach is unsustainable both theoretically and empirically. First, because given the existence of bounded rationality in the real world, agents are not able to act as maximizers. Secondly, because many examples of inefficient institutions are observed in the real world, in which their persistence does not serve any interest.

The intermediate version admits that not all institutional changes are efficiency driven, and therefore that many institutions will not be efficient even in the long run. The reason for this is attributed to the path dependence on the evolution of institutions.[17]. In this view, certain institutions may be chosen over others not because of their inherent efficiency, but because of certain irreversible historical “events”. This perspective allows a better understanding of the process of institutional change, however, it is an approach that places institutional change as basically driven by technological factors, not considering the role of human agency in the process.

The most sophisticated version of this approach extends the argument to the “cultural” dimension, in the sense that the agents' “worldview” matters. Its proponents start from the assumption that agents have limited rationality and argue that institutions make the complex real world more intelligible, because they restrict their behavioral options and also because they limit their attention to sets of incomplete possibilities. According to this view, there is an unavoidable need to operate with mental “models” of the world that may not necessarily be a good model of the real world. In this view, the simplistic version of efficiency is negated. This version also goes a step further towards understanding institutional change by arguing, according to Chang and Evans (2000), that the “world view” of agents is not independent of institutions, that is, the formation of preferences is endogenous. However, despite the subjective elements (moral values ​​and worldviews), this version is still ultimately driven by efficiency, now taken in a subjective dimension.

Regarding the approach interest-based, its most simplistic version (neoclassical political economy)[18], institutions are seen as instruments of sectoral interests of groups that are politically organized enough to initiate changes in institutions, changes that particularly serve their interests (rent seeking)[19]. Defense of general interests, when they happen, are seen as involuntary. One of the problems with this version, according to the authors, is that its proponents believe that institutions can be quickly changed according to the political power of interest groups, that is, institutions are infinitely malleable, as in the simplest version of efficiency-driven. Hence, the same criticism applies to it as the more simplistic version of efficiency-driven.

In the intermediate version structured-interest-based, interests are not exogenous, as in the most simplistic version, but “structured” by the existence of political and economic institutions. This implies that changes in the balance of power between existing interests did not cause instantaneous changes in institutions, but profound changes in the institutional structure.

Proponents of the more sophisticated version, culture-based structured-interest, argue that interests cannot be understood independently of the actors and that institutional changes are simultaneously material and symbolic transformations of the world, which involve not only changes in the structure of power and interests, but also in the very definition of power and interests[20]. The institutional change project is seen here not simply as a material project, but also as a cultural project in the sense that changes in institutions require changes in the “world view” of the agents involved. For Chang and Evans (2000, p. 18),

“[…] the role of human agency becomes a lot more important than in any other version of the theories of institutional change that we have talked […], as it is necessarily the human agents who actively interpret the world (albeit under the influences of the existing institutions) and develop discourses that justify the particular worldview that they hold. Indeed, we should not forget, to paraphrase Marx, that it is human beings who make history, although they may not make it in contexts of their own choosing”.[21]

The theoretical implications of Chang and Evans (2000), regarding the rise and fall of the Korean developmental State, considering the two approaches summarized by the authors, help to synthesize the ideas discussed in this part of the thesis in the direction of an economic theory with institutions, what in a more empirical view could be called “political management” of development[22]:

1- institutional change is a highly complex process, involving multi-directional and often subtle interactions between objective economic forces, ideas, interests and institutions[23];

2 – the authors' discussion reveals problems with the more simplistic approach called efficiency-driven which emphasizes objective economic factors in explaining institutional change. In general terms, economic factors are important for understanding historical trends, but Chang and Evans (2000) argue that they do not allow understanding the entire complexity of the process of institutional change;

3 – Ideas play a much more important role than is usually suggested in discussions about institutional change. But this does not mean that they should be treated as forces independent of interests and institutions. While these authors' discussion shows how powerful ideas can be in the course of institutional change, they also make it clear that it is wrong to imagine their relationship with institutions as a one-way street. As argued in both versions (efficiency-driven e interest-driven), institutions affect the way in which people perceive the world (constitutive role of institutions)[24];

4 – there is a need to think more seriously about the importance of choices in determining institutional changes, not like choices in neoclassical theory that are more or less predetermined by “objective” conditions, but genuine choices involving free will.

Finally, by raising these questions, space is opened to deal in a somewhat less controversial and ideological way with the issue of the State in promoting productive activities in a given economy. The question that markets are self-regulating and sufficient to promote economic development, as they are socially instituted, turns out to be a false dilemma. It is hoped, therefore, that institutions, especially the State, according to the ideology established in political processes, as discussed in this part, can provide strength and direction, whether for the development, stagnation or decline of a society or parts of it, within an established institutional structure or through modifications to it.


Human existence takes place in a context of order, direction and stability. In turn, the stability of the empirically existing human order arises from the habit which provides a stable foundation on which human activity can proceed making it unnecessary for each situation to be defined anew, step by step, opening the foreground to deliberation and innovation. Broadly speaking, the formation of habit it is coextensive with the institutionalization of human activity. For, institutionalization occurs whenever there is a reciprocal typification of habitual actions by types of actors, which implies that institutions always have a history of which they are products. The advantage of institutionalization is expressed in the expanded sphere of supposedly “natural” and certain routines. And just as the habit, institutions control human conduct by previously establishing defined standards of conduct, which channel it in one direction, as opposed to the many other directions that would be theoretically possible. To say, therefore, that a segment of human activity has been institutionalized is to say that it has been subjected to social control, generally manifested in collectivities containing a considerable number of people.

The institutional world, in which economic processes are present, requires legitimation. An expanding institutional order creates a corresponding mantle of legitimations, as institutions become realities divorced from their original importance in the social processes from which they emerged. These legitimations can follow each other, according to the existing distribution of power and the resulting level of institutionalization, granting new meanings to sedimented or sedimenting experiences in society.

The need to jointly analyze the institution and its institutionalization process prevents treating the former as raw data reifying the apprehension of human phenomena. This reification, which must be avoided at all costs, would be precisely the apprehension of the products of human activity as being something different from human products, as facts of nature, or even as a result of cosmic laws or manifestations of the divine will. Merging the world of institutions with the world of nature provides a similar result to merging the economic world with the world of nature, as the classics of political economy did, dehumanizing economic processes.

The opposite of reification is objectification. And legitimization as a process constitutes objectification, serving both to integrate the meanings of disparate institutional processes and also to represent the typical purpose that motivates legitimizers. So, legitimation is this process of explanation and justification, but which also acts as a fundamental element in the direction taken by institutional change and its results.

Industrialization, modernization and development, as Bendix (1996) informs, are terms frequently used in discussions about institutional change. What they have in common is that they are socially instituted. So, the concept of institution necessarily needs to be treated in a related way like that of institutionalization so that any institutional-evolutionary analysis of economic processes and their consequences for a given society can make sense. In other words, adopting institutions as a category of analysis in economic science implies: recognizing the evolutionary and unbalanced nature of economic systems; while recognizing that the economic process is socially 'instituted'.

Thus, if it is socially instituted, it is a fundamentally political process. And if it is fundamentally political, it is necessary to consider the active role of the State, and the organizations that make it up, in the process of institutional structuring of an economy: 1) as one of the main, if not the main homogenizing agent of the organizations and institutions that form it depend; and 2) for its ability to artificially create a wide variety of types of organizations and institutions.

Institutional change exhibits in its entirety a very complex process. In this sense, there is no one-dimensional direction that allows unequivocally linking the passage from informal institutions to formal institutions, with economic development as a result of this process. There is no way to determine how the combination of formal and informal rules are effective and efficient in shaping the actions of individuals without considering the space of ideologies and their respective legitimation processes, which: 1) define or obscure social categories; 2) stabilize or break social expectations; maintain or undermine social norms; 3) strengthen or weaken social consensus; and 4) alleviate or exacerbate social tensions. In this way, the error of the political economy of the classics cannot be repeated: that of treating economic society as something separate from the political state.

It is hoped that the questions raised and the relationships highlighted, in a systematic or even dispersed way, have achieved the objective pursued, which is to shed some light on the existing relationship between institutions and economic change towards an economic theory with institutions . Highlighting that the missing link in this process, as apprehended here, is precisely in the way in which the institutionalization of socially instituted and ideologically directed economic processes takes place, and that for this very reason, resulting from a constant tension of balance and distribution of power, which sometimes it reaches levels of cooperation and development, sometimes high levels of conflict and stagnation or decline, according to the instituted legitimation processes.

However, the State, in this new stage of capitalism, is marked by “[…] the worldwide deepening of economic inequality, the global erosion of social well-being and the planetary penetration of financial industries […]” (APPADURAI, 2010, p. 29). Regarding its role, for example, Bauman (2019, p. 48), speaks of a “[…] gradual but inexorable deactivation of the institutions of political power […]”, Appadurai (2019, p. 30), of “ democracy fatigue”, and Geiselberger (2019, p. 10), of “[…] 'securitization' (securitization) and post-democratic symbolic politics […]”. In general, for these authors, we now live in a context of political inability to deal with global problems (economic inequality, migration, terrorism, etc.). Context also associated with the transformation of culture into a stage of sovereignty that ends up producing authoritarian populist leaders, since economic sovereignty no longer fits within national sovereignty. These, in turn, “[...] promise the purification of national culture as a means of global political power [...]” (APPADURAI, 2019, p. 25). And yet, we are experiencing the transformation of the democratic political debate into a way out of democracy itself; however, keeping the configuration of State and power unaltered, thus creating a true simulacrum of democracy or a democracy in reverse. Who are the winners and who are the losers of such a process?

[…] The main winners are extraterritorial financiers, investment funds and commodity traders of all shades of legitimacy; the main losers are economic and social equality, the principles of intra- and inter-state justice, as well as a large part, probably a growing majority, of the world's population. (BAUMAN, 2019, p. 48)

Context derived from the new systemic pattern of wealth of contemporary capitalism, represented by financialization. As Braga explained, still in 1998, this new pattern, “[…] signals an unbalancing movement in the international division of labor and growing disparities in income, wealth and sociability; understood as access to employment, to vital and cultural expansion, to democratic and civilized connivance” (BRAGA, 1998, p. 238-239).

We need to think about a new state configuration. The configuration problem is related to the concentration of power generated by it. Take presidential democracies as an example. The division of powers, between executive, legislative and judiciary, is a fundamental aspect of democracy, but not even it was able to avoid the dramatic situation described above. We urgently need a new configuration of the State that results in a new configuration of power in society at all levels of government, local, regional and national. In this regard, we will deal only with the executive branch, presidency and ministries, and the suggestions are for all levels of government.

Let's start with the president. Why should a single person run an entire country? Why should we subject ourselves to governments that do not represent social interests? Why are we still subject to electing and accepting rulers like Trump or Bolsonaro, for example? Why not elect in their place a government council with seats for the representative sectors of society? What would your role be? Think and formulate policies for implementation by ministries, as well as meet ministerial demands. By what means? A permanent technical staff selected, via public tender, to transform political solutions into technical solutions. What is the role of ministries? Why do ministers and their teams change every four years? If we think about ministries, based on their activities and functions, we can conclude that the only valid answer to the last question is related to discretionary power (power bargains for high positions and all forms of corruption derived therefrom). Let us now imagine a different situation, in which the ministry is a body structured completely based on public tenders and in which, also, its direction is exercised by a council formed by career officials. The role of the ministries would remain the same: elaboration of plans, projects and their execution. Perhaps, if we managed to implant an executive in this perspective, we could also have some hope in democracy again: a true democratic revolution.

*José Micaelson Lacerda Morais Professor at the Department of Economics at the Regional University of Cariri (URCA)


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_______; CASSIOLATO, Jose Eduardo. Industrial policy: theory and practice in Brazil and in the OECD. Political Economy Magazine. Vol 17, n 2 (66), April/June, 1997.

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[1] Dante quoted by Hirschman (2002, p. 42).

[2] To use an illustrative example: "Although lust is an evil, it may be a lesser evil than the 'laziness' which might result from the banishment of lust." (Hirschman, 2002, p. 47)

[3] Hirschman (2002, p. 78).

[4] Hirschman (2002, p. 71).

[5] Hirschman (2002, p. 73).

[6] Term used by Sola (1998).

[7] Berger and Luckmann (1974, p. 98).

[8] North (1984, p. 20).

[9] North (1984, p. 22).

[10] The term class can be replaced here by political party for purposes of analysis.

[11] Polanyi (2000, p. 186).

[12]  Chang and Evans (2000, p. 2).

[13] For Chang and Evans (2000), global institutions may eventually come to play a role at the global level analogous to the role that States have played within national territories over the last 400 years.

[14] Erber and Cassiolato (1997, p.42).

[15] However, they do not deny that both efficiency and interests are important factors in the evolution of institutions.

[16] The authors representing this current, according to Chang and Evans (2000), are Douglas North, Harold Demsetz, Armen Alchian, and the property rights school of Frubotn & Pejovich and Yoram Barzel.

[17] The authors representing this current, according to Chang and Evans (2000), are Brian Arthur, Paul David, Joel Mokyr and others who work mainly with technological issues.

[18] The authors representing this current, according to Chang and Evans (2000), are Anthony Downs, James Buchanan, Gordon Tullock, Ann Krueger, Jagdisn Bhagwati, Mancur Olson and Douglas North.

[19] This same vision is found in Marxist economic policy, in the version that sees the state as an executive committee of the bourgeoisie.

[20] “For example, Friedland & Alford (1991) argue that the success of America capitalists in the early 20th century in persuading society to accept the (fictitious) legal status of a legal person for a corporation was crucial in allowing them to institute limited liability , which then enabled large-scale mobilization of capital through the stock market […]”. (CHANG and EVANS, 2000, p. 18) “For example, Friedland & Alford (1991) argue that the success of America's capitalists in the early 20th century in persuading society to accept the status (fictitious) legal entity to a corporation was crucial in allowing them to institute limited liability, which then enabled the large-scale mobilization of capital through the exchange […]”. [Free translation]

[21] […] the role of human agency becomes far more important than in any other version of the theories of institutional change we have talked about […], as it is necessarily human agents who actively interpret the world (albeit under the influences of existing institutions ) and develop discourses that justify the particular worldview they hold. Indeed, we must not forget, to paraphrase Marx, that it is human beings who make history, even though they cannot do so in contexts of their own choosing.” [Free translation]

[22] Term used by Bendix (1996), when discussing the role of traditions in facilitating or hindering rapid development.

[23] “[…] This is at one level a very banal statement, but there are too many theories of institutional change which rely almost exclusively on one of these variables (especially economic forces and interests solely defined in terms of such forces) for us not to make this statement.” (CHANG and EVANS, 2000, p. 34). “[…] This is, on one level, a very trite statement, but there are many theories of institutional change that depend almost exclusively on one of these variables (especially economic forces and interests defined exclusively in terms of such forces), although for us this it is not something already given” [Free translation]

[24] “[…] therefore it is possible to see them as objects of manipulation by agents with exogenously-formed “preferences”, because the way in which such “preferences” are formed is affected by the nature of existing institutions […].” (CHANG and EVANS, 2000, p. 36) “[…] therefore, it is possible to see them as objects of manipulation by agents with exogenously formed “preferences”, because the way in which such “preferences” are formed is affected by the nature of the existing institutions […].” [Free translation]

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