Informal Institutions and Comparative Politics: A Research Agenda

@article{Helmke2004InformalIA,
  title={Informal Institutions and Comparative Politics: A Research Agenda},
  author={Gretchen Helmke and Steven Levitsky},
  journal={Perspectives on Politics},
  year={2004},
  volume={2},
  pages={725 - 740}
}
Mainstream comparative research on political institutions focuses primarily on formal rules. Yet in many contexts, informal institutions, ranging from bureaucratic and legislative norms to clientelism and patrimonialism, shape even more strongly political behavior and outcomes. Scholars who fail to consider these informal rules of the game risk missing many of the most important incentives and constraints that underlie political behavior. In this article we develop a framework for studying… 
Unwritten Rules: Informal Institutions in Established Democracies
Scholars of the developing world have driven a surge of interest in unwritten or informal institutions as determinants of political outcomes. In advanced industrial democracies, by contrast, informal
The unrule of law in the making: The politics of informal institution building in Russia
‘INFORMAL INSTITUTIONALISATION’ (O’Donnell, 1996), or the prevalence of informal rules and norms over the formal institutions of political regimes (Merkel & Croissant, 2000), is a typical outcome of
The Informal Politics of Legislation
This article investigates a widespread yet understudied trend in EU politics: the shift of legislative decision making from public inclusive to informal secluded arenas and the subsequent adoption of
Comparative Political Studies
Ethno-embedded institutionalism : the impact of institutional repertoires on ethnic violence
Hitherto, the relationships between political institutions and ethnopolitical (in)stability typically have been analysed by investigating the effects of single, formal political institutions such as
Women’s selection into parliament: the interplay between formal rules and informal practices
ABSTRACT Political processes are shaped by the gendered ways in which women and men are selected to run for political office. This paper examines the increase in women entering the parliamentary
Gender, Institutions and Political Recruitment: A Research Agenda
  • Economics
  • 2014
Political parties can make or break women's efforts to stand for office, yet there have been few systematic studies into the 'secret garden' of political recruitment. This paper takes a closer look
The institutionalization of multilevel politics in Europe
This thesis addresses the question as to why multilevel politics is becoming an integral part of politics in Europe. Multilevel politics is conceptualized as a system which functions through a
On the Institutionalization of Congress(Es) in Latin America and Beyond
This paper proposes an agenda for the study of the determinants and the processes by which strong policymaking institutions emerge, with emphasis on the most central democratic institution: the
When Do Institutions “Bite”? Historical Institutionalism and the Politics of Institutional Change
Historical institutionalist theories of endogenous change have enhanced our understanding of institutional development by providing a theoretical vocabulary for analyzing how institutions may be
...
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 237 REFERENCES
Informal Institutions and Democracy
Informal institutions have grown in relevance for the analysis of new ‘third wave’ democracies. The research strategy receives its impetus from the debate on neo‐institutionalism theory, which offers
Towards a Consolidated Democracy? Informal and Formal Institutions in Taiwan's Political Process
Institutionalization plays an important role in democratic consolidation. This paper goes beyond constitutional reforms and takes a closer look at the institutions, both informal and formal, that
Limitations of rational-choice institutionalism for the study of Latin American politics
This article analyzes the analytical limitations of rational-choice institutionalism for the study of Latin American politics. Adherents of this approach have made important contributions by
Linkages between Citizens and Politicians in Democratic Polities
Research on democratic party competition in the formal spatial tradition of Downs and the comparative-historical tradition of Lipset and Rokkan assumes that linkages of accountability and
Thinking outside the (Ballot) Box: Informal Electoral Institutions and Mexico's Political Opening
Abstract This article studies the development of informal bargaining tables to mitigate postelectoral conflicts in some 15 percent of Mexico's local elections between 1989 and 2000, even as formally
The Logic of Strategic Defection: Court–Executive Relations in Argentina Under Dictatorship and Democracy
Building on the separation-of-powers approach in American politics, this article develops a new micro-level account of judicial decision-making in contexts where judges face institutional insecurity.
Parchment, Equilibria, and Institutions
Institutions are rules that constrain political behavior. Although there is consensus that being written down is neither necessary nor sufficient for an institution to be effective, much research on
ANOTHER INSTITUTIONALIZATION: LATIN AMERICA AND ELSEWHERE
The paper expresses skepticism about concepts current in the contemporary literature on democratization, such as ‘democratic consolidation’ and/or the ‘lack of institutionalization’ from which most
The New Institutionalism: Organizational Factors in Political Life
Contemporary theories of politics tend to portray politics as a reflection of society, political phenomena as the aggregate consequences of individual behavior, action as the result of choices based
Expectations and Informal Rules in Coalition Formation
Why do informal rules emerge alongside—and at variance with—the formal constitutional constraints that shape bargaining over coalition governments? The presence of informal rules at odds with formal
...
...