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

By Fritz W. Scharpf | Go to book overview

NOTES
1.
These values include four "deference values" (power, respect, rectitude, and affection) and four "welfare values" (well-being, wealth, skill, and enlightenment), but of course even the latter will often be translated into political influence.
2.
This is even true of the organizational factors emphasized by the "power resources" school of political economy ( Korpi 1983), which have proven to be much less useful in the international economic environment of the 1980s and 1990s ( Canova 1994).
3.
It should be noted that the members of composite actors need not be individuals but will often be lower-order composite actors.
4.
A recent example of a downward spiral under conditions of differentiated preferences is provided by the self-destruction of polyclinics in the East German health care system. Even though a large majority of the physicians employed there had expressed a preference for continuing in their present role, practically all of them were in fact in private practice within a year after German unification. The explanation, apparently, is not a change in the intrinsic preferences of the majority. But when the minority of doctors who always had wanted to set themselves up in private practice began to do so, the viability of some polyclinics seemed uncertain, so that more ambivalent staff members saw reason to follow suit, which again influenced the expectations of others, until, in the end, everyone feared being left behind in doomed polyclinics while in the meantime most patients would have become attached to those doctors in private practice who had started early ( Wasem 1992).
5.
The distinction of different orientations does not coincide with the standard economic distinction between "private goods" and "collective goods;" which is based on the "objective" criteria of rivalry in use and excludability.
6.
Movements directed by a charismatic leader are an entirely different matter with regard to their strategic capacities as collective actors. Analytically, they may be treated as "associations."
7.
Nevertheless, members may retain control over some critical action resources. In collective-bargaining conflicts, for instance, the employers' association is legitimated to make binding decisions on conflict strategies, but lockouts must still be implemented by individual firms. On the union side, the same is true of the implementation of strike decisions.
8.
Observed actions are explained by preferences that in turn are inferred from observed action.
9.
Nevertheless, the occupants of leadership positions are also constrained by the functional requirements associated with such positions. Among these are the need to maintain the revenues of the state and other action resources ( Levi 1988) and, of course, political requirements expressed best in Lyndon Johnson's famous dictum that"you've got to be reelected to be a statesman."
10.
We have no difficulty with the assumption of methodological individualism that the force driving organizational self-interest must be the self-interest of the individuals whose livelihood and career opportunities depend on the organization. But knowing the source of energy does not yet tell us the direction in which the organization will be driven.
11.
Individual actors have of course much greater freedom in defining their own selfinterest in idiosyncratic ways, and they may even ignore basic survival interests (which biologists would in any case locate not at the level of the individual but at the level of the gene -- see, for example, Dawkins 1976; Campbell 1986).

-67-

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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
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