Culture & institutions

Cultures-&-institutions 1Our research focuses on the coherence of “institutions” with their context of interpretation. By this we mean the set of rules, whether formal or not, which organise economic, social and political life: property rights, market regulation, the training system, basic services, social protection, etc. Consequently, we focus on the way in which these various systems take on meaning within each country. Much remains to be done in terms of comparative studies on institutions. Universalist visions continue to dominate. Some consider that a convergence of models must occur naturally. Others think that it should be prompted by disseminating “good practices”. These approaches have been widely criticised by the neo-institutionalist trend, which has demonstrated the diversity of models, related to the history and the collective imagination that are specific to each society. However, in this analysis, the role played by cultures remains unclear and refers more or less to an historical determinism related to each field (‘’path dependency’’). Our research does, however, demonstrate that within each national culture there are regularities, which crosscut the economic and institutional fields.

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