University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

Introduction to the Special Issue on the Evolution of Institutions

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial


  • 905834

    Accepted author manuscript, 219 KB, PDF document

  • Mark Blyth
  • Geoffrey M. Hodgson
  • Orion Lewis
  • Sven Steinmo
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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)299-315
JournalJournal of Institutional Economics
Journal publication dateSep 2011
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


How can evolutionary ideas be applied to the study of social and political institutions? Charles Darwin identified the mechanisms of variation, selection and retention. He emphasized that evolutionary change depends on the uniqueness of every individual and its interactions within a population and with its environment. While introducing the contributions to this special issue, we examine some of the ontological positions underlying evolutionary theory, showing why they are appropriate for studying issues in economics, political science and sociology. We consider how these ideas might help us understand both institutional change and the formation of individual preferences.


Original article can be found at : Copyright Cambridge University Press

ID: 376595