Games Real Actors Play: Actor-Centered Institutionalism in Policy Research

By Fritz W. Scharpf | Go to book overview

Introduction

Politics is about many things. But foremost among these, in modern democratic p?olities, is the function of selecting and legitimating public policies that use the powers of the collectivity for the achievement of goals and the resolution of problems that are beyond the reach of individuals acting on their own or through market exchanges. The academic disciplines of political science and political sociology are also about many things. But among their foremost concerns is, or ought to be, the contribution that they could make to the understanding and the improvement of the conditions under which politics is able to produce effective and legitimate solutions to policy problems.

This book is about a set of conceptual tools that have proved their use in this endeavor. They will be discussed here within a framework that Renate Mayntz and I have implicitly used in our joint and separate work since the beginning of the 1970s, and that we have recently explicated and decided to name "actorcentered institutionalism" in a jointly authored article ( Mayntz/ Scharpf 1995a). The approach proceeds from the assumption that social phenomena are to be explained as the outcome of interactions among intentional actors -- individual, collective, or corporate actors, that is -- but that these interactions are structured, and the outcomes shaped, by the characteristics of the institutional settings within which they occur. An overview will be presented in Chapters 2 and 3. For the basic focus on actors interacting within institutions, we do not claim originality. On the contrary, we are convinced that many colleagues doing empirical policy research are implicitly working with similar assumptions, working hypotheses, and research strategies. Nevertheless, it seemed useful to explicate systematically and to reflect upon what has been implicitly assumed -- and the positive response to our article in the German profession suggests that we are not alone in this belief.

It must be pointed out, however, that the framework as such is more general than are the purposes of this book. It also includes conceptual tools for the analysis of social differentiation ( Mayntz 1988) and of large technical systems ( Mayntz/ Schneider 1988; Mayntz 1993) that I have not drawn upon here. Instead, this book places greater emphasis on the usefulness of analytical tools that are, in a broad sense, of a more game-theoretical nature than is necessarily implied by the more general framework.

-1-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Games Real Actors Play: Actor-Centered Institutionalism in Policy Research
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents ix
  • Tables and Figures xi
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 18
  • 1 - Policy Research in the Face of Complexity 19
  • Notes 34
  • 2 - Actor-Centered Institutionalism 36
  • Notes 49
  • 3 - Actors 51
  • Notes 67
  • 4 - Actor Constellations 69
  • Notes 93
  • 5 - Unilateral Action in Anarchic Fields and Minimal Institutions 97
  • Notes 114
  • 6 - Negotiated Agreements 116
  • Notes 147
  • 7 - Decisions by Majority Vote 151
  • Notes 168
  • 8 - Hierarchical Direction 171
  • Notes 193
  • 9 - Varieties of the Negotiating State 195
  • Notes 214
  • Appendix 1 - A Game-Theoretical Interpretation of Inflation and Unemployment in Western Europe 217
  • Notes 237
  • References 240
  • Appendix 2 - Efficient Self-Coordination in Policy Networks -- a Simulation Study 245
  • Notes 273
  • References 276
  • References 281
  • About the Book and Author 303
  • Index 305
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 318

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.