The theory of institutional design


The theory of institutional design

edited by Robert E. Goodin

(Theories of institutional design)

Cambridge University Press, 1996

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Includes bibliographical references and indexes



Problems of institutional design and redesign, structuring and restructuring, acquired particular poignancy through recent developments from eastern Europe to southern Africa. At the same time, scholars in each of several disciplines - political science, economics, sociology, history and philosophy - have increasingly come to appreciate the important independent role that is, and should be, played by institutional factors in social life. In this volume, disparate theories of institutional design given by each of those several disciplines are synthesized and their peculiar power illustrated. Through analysis of examples ranging from changes in the British welfare state through the transition of eastern European societies to the reward structure of the modern university, the contributors emphasize the important interpenetration of normative and empirical issues in theories of institutional design.


  • Preface
  • Notes on contributors
  • 1. Institutions and their design Robert E. Goodin
  • 2. Institutional design and rational choice Philip Pettit
  • 3. Second best theories and institutional design: a note on statics and dynamics Bruce Talbot Coram
  • 4. The informal logic of institutional design John S. Dryzek
  • 5. Institutional morality Russell Hardin
  • 6. The publicity principle David Luban
  • 7. Designing institutions in East European transitions Claus Offe
  • 8. Political deals institutional settings Kenneth A. Shepsle
  • 9. Self-inventing institutions: institutional design and the UK welfare state Rudolf Klein
  • 10. Selection and the currency of reward Geoffrey Brennan.

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